US Curbs Freedom of Publishing

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes, which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba.

Circumference, a US published 'journal of poetry in translation founded on principles of free and open exchange', has responded with a declaration that it is actively seeking translations of poetry from these countries. The journal will dedicate a substantial section of its second issue to poetry from these countries this summer.

Other publishers have reacted with similar defiance. 'Very few publishers that have decided to restrict their normal publishing activities as a result of the OFAC ruling,' says Robert Bovenschulte, president of the publications division of the American Chemical Society, in Democracy Now.

While publishing articles from countries under trade embargoes is legal, editing is defined as a service. The Treasury Department says it's illegal to perform services for embargoed nations. It can be punishable by fines of up to half a million dollars or jail terms as long as ten years.

Read Circumference, and Democracy Now.

© University of Wales, Aberystwyth 2002-2009       home  |  e-mail us  |  back to top
site by CHL