The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has been heartened by the unanimous support of the board of the Authors Guild in the USA for the maintenance of the current restrictions on the parallel importation of books into Australia. The Authors Guild joins the UK Society of Authors and the New Zealand Society of Authors in support of the retention of territorial copyright in Australia.
Authors Guild Director Paul Aiken said: “It’s hard to believe a country would choose to devalue its publishers' backlists in this way, forcing publishers to compete against cheap imports for the very titles they had chosen to invest in.”
Aiken went on to say: “It would have to lead to a shrinking publishing industry in Australia, since most publishers are so dependent on their backlists. This would be bad for all authors who are published in Australia, of course. In the long run, it would also be bad for Australian readers, who would find themselves increasingly dependent on the exports of foreign publishers, who would have little interest in nurturing Australia's literary culture.”
With this international support, the Australian Society of Authors reiterates its position that there should be NO change to the current restrictions on the parallel importation of books into Australia. We call upon the government to dismiss any recommendations to this end in the yet-to-be released Productivity Commission report into this matter.