Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Australian writers throw the book at proposed reforms
Authors and publishers claim planned copyright changes could destroy the local publishing industry.

John Elder and Jono Pech report in The Age.
Best-selling author Nick Earls (pic above) usually scores more than a few dollars per word when he writes something new — but earlier this month the Prime Minister was treated to a stirring 1626 words from Earls free of charge.
It was a letter virtually begging the PM to ignore the call for competition reforms aired at the COAG meeting the previous week. The reforms would see the Federal Government dropping copyright restrictions on imported books. To wit, books by Australian authors published overseas would go on sale here cheaper than the locally produced versions.

The Productivity Commission is formally looking at the issue, and former commission head Allan Fels has already come out in support of the move as a big win for the consumer. Local chain booksellers are also enthusiastic because online booksellers such as are already making cheaper imports available to Australians, undercutting local merchants.
However, the net result of opening the floodgates — as Earls and other Australian writers are arguing — is that the local book publishing industry will be destroyed.

The full report from The Age here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are NZ writers and publishers worried about this? How much protection from the effects of parallel importing has the Australian 30 day rule offered us?