Saturday, April 11, 2015

Typical uncritical media reporting on publisher and author confusion on parallel importation. Jason Steger in today's Age:

   'In November 2009 a rally against the lifting of parallel importation restrictions became a celebration after the Labor government rejected the proposals of the Productivity Commission that had been roundly criticised by printers, publishers, authors and booksellers alike. Five years on and the Competition Policy Review chaired by Ian Harper has suggested those restrictions, which have been significantly adjusted over the past few years, be scrapped completely. Already Australian Publishers Association president Louise Adler has fired up on the subject, saying abolishing territorial copyright regulations makes no sense, while the Australian Society of Authors says ‘‘screwing authors is no way to sustain a healthy writing scene, a strong Australian reading culture, or a vibrant educational sector’’. Adler reckons the current government doesn’t have the collective will to remove the restrictions and confirmed that the collective agreement covering current supply terms in the book industry had just been renewed for another year. While the industry would wait for the government’s response before deciding what to do in terms of any campaign, she said she would talk to anyone she could about the proposals. Given her relationship with PM Tony Abbott – she is both his publisher and chair of the judges for his literary awards – would she be lobbying him? ‘‘I will mention it to anyone who will let me mention it.’’ '

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