'Patrick Gallagher, Chairman, Allen and Unwin, writes:
A combination of naiveté and muddled thinking from Crikey in the Great Book Debate. Blind Freddie can surely see the motivation behind the Murdoch Press's rabid publisher bashing, which is simply a case of a handy stick to take to Rudd. Which in fact makes the Government's decision to retain Territorial Copyright the brave one; it would have been far easier to take the populist line, tear down the walls and proclaim cheap books for all.
Put those pesky intellectuals back in their place and give the people lots of cheap rubbish from overseas.
Don't fall for the economists' and free marketeers' attempts to paint this as a failed opportunity to create a nirvana for the reading public. The small but noisy minority led by Dymocks and Bob Carr had one thing and one thing only in mind - better margins for their business.
The government deserves credit for appreciating this, and for understanding the wholesale damage that change to copyright would do to the book industry, to authors and ultimately consumers'.
The Government's decision 'to retain territorial copyright'? That wasn't the government's decision at all! The government decided to retain the importation restrictions. THESE HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH TERRITORIAL COPYRIGHT! (See my speech to the Copyright Society on October 17 on this blog for a explication of this issue).
It really pains me to see seasoned industry players not even at first base in their understanding of these issues after almost 20 years.