Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books
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.’
|This book is provided by Productivity Commission, Government of Australia in its series Research Reports with number 34 and published in 2009.|
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