27 March 2009

Productivity Commission - say it isn't so

It wasn't so long ago we were singing the praises of the articulate and impassioned submissions made to the Productivity Commission regarding Copyright Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books.

It seems these submissions have largely fallen on impervious hearts and minds as the discussion draft report released by the Productivity Commission suggests that allowing parallel importation is the destination they have in their sights. Which is alas. We shake our heads in disbelief. This big bad is harder to slay than we imagined (aren't they all? except for that one that turned out to be actual postage-stamp size).

In a nutshell they have recommended that publishers and authors retain territorial copyright on works only for the first 12 months of a book's life, after which time booksellers could purchase any edition of that book from any source in the world. Not good news.

The Australian Publishers Association have labelled the draft "unworkable and destructive". And Text's Michael Heyward expressed his disappointment out loud over here.

Further submissions are invited. [Submit! Clever, articulate, impassioned peeps, submit!]

We are ever hopeful that the PC have what it takes to put a stake through the heart of the PI reform recommendations in the draft report - or at the very least, that they give them a soul.


Anonymous said...

Groaning and clutching my head in frustration here. How dense do you have to be to think anything about the 12months idea makes sense?

Gah. You'd think someone wanted to kill off the smaller publishers altogether, wouldn't you?

Natalie Hatch said...

Do you think that a concerted effort to inform our members of parliament of the situation might help our cause? I note that many writing organisations have already sent copious letters etc to the commission only to be ignored per se. Perhaps parliamentarians can use their influence for good? It's a thought.

Amber said...

How I would like to formulate something as usefully articulate on this as those who have submitted. But this whole thing turns me all impotent and I can only get as far as "Look, no. Bad. Bad thing. No no. No. Just. Don't." Gah, indeed.