The Australian Booksellers Association have changed their position on the parallel importation issue: ‘The ABA considers the uncertainty delivered by the removal of territorial copyright to be of too great a risk to our developing independent publishing industry, particularly in light of the business models of the most successful of these publishers and their reliance on the value of territorial copyright.’
The ABA submission acknowledges that some of their members are still in favour on an open market approach, and points to the Canadian model, which introduces ‘greater competition and downward pressure on price by further tightening the qualifications for territorial copyright through the introduction of […] regulations relating to supply and price.’ Without having to lift copyright restrictions!
It seems likely that independent booksellers, who play such a crucial role in fostering the Australian literary scene, have exerted enough influence on their peak body to turn the tide. Well played!
As Maree McKaskill, CEO of the Australian Publishers Association points out ‘This shows that the whole of the book publishing supply chain, from authors, through agents, printers and now the vast majority of booksellers all understand the fundamental importance of territorial copyright for the future of this industry. Without it, there’s no incentive to invest and we become the dumping bin for the leftovers of overseas literary culture’ – a grim future indeed!
So hey, Productivity Commission, not even your retailers want to lift importation restrictions on books. Enough said?