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Australian Society of Authors on parallel importation

Press release from the ASA:

Parallel importation: Authors are angry — Press ReleaseAuthors are angry

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is extremely disappointed that the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission inquiry into parallel importation provisions for books lack any cultural component. The ASA has previously made submissions to the Productivity Commission for cultural issues to be part of the terms of reference, but these have fallen on deaf ears.

“The terms are all economic,” said Dr Jeremy Fisher, ASA Executive Director. “This is absurd. Hasn’t the current credit crisis opened the eyes of government to the fact that economic rationalism is just another excuse for what Mr Rudd’ termed ‘rampant capitalism’. Our literature is an integral part of our culture, and any change to the parallel importation provisions of the Copyright Act will work against Australia’s authors and book illustrators. As it is, our book industry is thriving. We export books. Australian books make up 60% of the titles we read.”

ASA Chair and widely published author, Dr Anita Heiss added: “Authors are very angry that the matter has been raised at all. Our book industry doesn’t depend on government handouts or funding breaks like other creative industries, yet there are moves afoot to destroy it. We support retention of the current provisions and will be very vocal in expressing our view.”

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