LONDON--(Marketwire - January 5, 2009) - The International ISTC Agency, the official Registration Authority for the International Standard Text Code (ISTC), is pleased to announce its appointment of Bowker and Nielsen Book as ISTC registration agencies that are now authorized to assign ISTCs on behalf of publishers, authors and content owners.

An approved ISO standard (ISO 21047), the ISTC provides a means of uniquely and persistently identifying textual works in information systems, and facilitates the exchange of information about such works between publishers, authors and authors associations, collective management organizations, libraries, search engines and others on an international level. More information regarding the ISTC standard is available at www.ISTC-International.org, the new official web site of the International ISTC Agency.

"We are very enthusiastic about bringing to market this very important industry standard," says Andy Weissberg, Vice President of Identifier Services and Corporate Marketing at Bowker. "For publishers, authors and rights-holders, the ISTC will optimize and streamline consumer discovery of various book product and format options, providing an industry-standardized framework for linking and co-locating print and digital manifestations of original textual works in retail, search engine and library catalogues," added Weissberg.

Authors, rights-holders and others interested in ISTC are encouraged to participate in pilot programs offered by both Bowker and Nielsen that will provide free registration of ISTCs on a semi-limited basis through May 2009. Within these programs, participants are encouraged to exchange required meta-data about their works and groupings of works that are intended for ISTC assignment, for which selected portions shall be validated for ISTC assignments for free during the pilot program period.

The International ISTC Agency encourages entities that wish to apply to become an ISTC Registration Agency to contact the International ISTC Agency to participate in the expression of interest process: James Boyd, Communication and Product Development, IFRRO at +32 2 551 08 97 or james.boyd@ifrro.org, or Eric Baptiste, Director General, CISAC at cis@cisac.org.

About The International ISTC Agency

Officially founded in 2008, The International ISTC Agency is responsible for the promotion, coordination and supervision of the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) standard and system. Bowker, Nielsen, CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) and IFFRO (The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations) are founding members of the International ISTC Agency.

To participate in ISTC pilot programs, or to learn more about the ISTC standard, in the UK, contact Julian Sowa, Chairman, at +44 (0) 1483 712330 or Julian.Sowa@nielsen.com. US-based inquires should be directed to Andy Weissberg at 908.219.0206 or andy.weissberg@bowker.com. General information about the ISTC can be accessed at www.ISTC-International.org.

Contact Information: General Inquiries: Julian Sowa Chairman +44 (0) 1483 712330