Friday, April 10, 2009

Productivity Commission ballsup

Every reader, writer, teacher, librarian and Australian should be writing to the Productivity Commission, the Prime Minister, Education Minister, Minister for Culture and the Arts (do we still have one, do you think?) and anyone else you can think of to protest the dim-witted changes the Productivity Commission want to make regarding removing the restrictions on the Parallel Importation of books. This directly effects everyone.

Cheaper books are one thing. But the changes suggested by the Productivity Commission in all its stupidity will destroy Australian publishing, the potential of Australian authors to earn money and the potential of our culture, heritage and unique literary voices to be lost to the reading public.

The Productivity Commission has not taken in to account the Children's Book Industry at all in its Discussion Draft. So a huge reading public, with no political voice - our children will be disenfranchised if the parallel importation restrictions are removed. The Australian Children's Book Industry is a healthy one. Marginalised - as in, few reviews, little recognition and so on - but healthy in terms of readers, sales and writing talent.

The end result of the lifting of parallel importation restrictions for the Australian public would mean that we'd be swamped with remaindered books. That is, books that haven't sold because no one actually wanted to read them much. This in return for fewer opportunities for Australian authors, no opportunity for first time authors, the demise of a number of small publishing houses, a lack of representation of Australian culture and history in the books being published and far less Australian books being published. Jobs would be lost in the publishing industry.

Is this what you want?

A very good breakdown report of the whole issue can be found here. Read it and protest by writing letters - these must be received by 17th April. Get your typing fingers flying! Please note, that though the Commission prefers to receive submissions by email, it's better to send hard copy letters to the Prime Minister et al. They are taken more seriously than emails.

If you need more information on how to submit,this is directly copied from the government webpage:

Copyright Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books
How to make a submission

This is a commissioned study and the Commission invites interested people and organisations to register their interest and make a written submission.

Each submission, except for any confidential information (see below), will be published on the Commission's website shortly after receipt, and will remain there indefinitely as a public document. Copyright in submissions sent to the Commission resides with the author(s), not with the Commission.
Preparing submissions

The following notes may assist in preparing submissions:

* There is no set structure for submissions and participants may comment on any matter they consider relevant to the topic. This could range from a short letter outlining your views on the topic to a more substantial document covering a range of issues. Where possible, you should provide data and/or documentation to support your views.
* Under certain circumstances the Commission can accept material in confidence, including commercially sensitive material. Any such material should be provided under separate cover and clearly marked 'IN CONFIDENCE'. You should contact the Commission for further information and advice on this matter.
* Each submission should be accompanied by a submission cover sheet (which includes the address to which the submissions can be forwarded). The Commission prefers to receive submissions by email. However, submissions can also be accepted by post or fax. Track changes, editing marks, hidden text and internal links should be removed from submissions before sending to the Commission.
* For submissions received from individuals, all personal details other than name and state/territory of residence (e.g. home address, home phone number) will be removed from the submission before it is published on the website to comply with privacy laws.

Please lodge your submission with us by Friday 17 April 2009 so that we can make full use of it in our final research report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes I heard about it via PASS IT ON. Not good news. Lets hope it doesn't come to it. I've written my little ditti to support the Oz market and preserve the the great quality of books aussies write.
Oh by the way... congratulations on the shortlist of The Wish Pony.
cheers Carmel