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Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books

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  • Productivity Commission

Abstract

The Commission’s final report on the parallel importation of books into Australia, released on 14 July, recommends removal of the current restrictions, with the industry having a period of three years to adjust before the changes take effect. The restrictions prevent Australian booksellers from importing commercial quantities of legitimately produced copies of a book from overseas, when a publisher with ‘Australian rights’ can supply the title. The Commission undertook extensive analysis of international book prices and concluded that the restrictions create upward pressure on local book prices. This effect will vary across book genres and over time, and can be substantial. On releasing the report, the Commission’s Deputy Chairman Michael Woods said: ‘having considered the industry’s feedback on the draft report, and undertaken further analysis, the Commission found the case for repealing the restrictions compelling. Consumers pay higher prices for books, regardless of their cultural significance, and more of the benefits flow to overseas authors and publishers than to local writers. Coupled with improved subsidy arrangements to address the cultural issues, the reforms will benefit the community overall.’

Suggested Citation

  • Productivity Commission, 2009. "Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books," Research Reports, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia, number 34.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:prodcs:34 Note: 240 pages.
    as

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    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/90265/books.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/study/books/report
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vidar Ringstad & Knut Løyland, 2006. "The Demand for Books Estimated by Means of Consumer Survey Data," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(2), pages 141-155, September.
    2. Ruth Towse, 2006. "Copyright And Artists: A View From Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 567-585, September.
    3. Olivier, Jacques & Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Globalization and the dynamics of cultural identity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 356-370, December.
    4. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2004. "Beyond the Dogma of the Fixed Book Price Agreement," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, February.
    5. David Throsby, 2011. "Cultural Capital," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 20 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Rüdiger Pethig & Sao-Wen Cheng, 2000. "Cultural Goods Consumption and Cultural Capital," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 86-00, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    7. Abbing, Hans, 2002. "Why Are Artists Poor?," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9789053565650.
    8. Bruce Chapman & Glenn Withers, 2002. "Human Capital Accumulation: Education and Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 452, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    publishing; books; imports; copyright;

    JEL classification:

    • Z - Other Special Topics

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