Save Australian literature: stop parallel importation of books
This petition had 19,628 supporters
Australia’s authors and illustrators are dismayed by Treasurer Scott Morrison’s announced plans to remove parallel importation restrictions (PIRs) on books.
If Mr Morrison’s decision to repeal PIRs on books is allowed to proceed, Australia's authors (whose creative earnings already average less than $13,000 per year) will lose valuable royalties, career-supporting income from overseas rights sales, and the support of a healthy Australian publishing industry.
1. Removing PIRs on books will allow the mass importation of lower-royalty and royalty-free editions of Australian authors’ books into the Australian marketplace. These editions may originate locally or overseas and will be allowed to compete against full-royalty editions of the same books in local bookstores.
2. Removing PIRs on books will see local publishers reluctant to sell foreign rights to Australian authors' works, if overseas parties can then use those rights to undermine local publishers in their own marketplace.
3. Removing PIRs on books will impede local publishers' ability to distribute local editions of international bestsellers. This will see local publishers with less money to invest in Australian authors, both new and established, resulting in less risk-taking, lower advances and fewer Australian authors achieving publication.
Protect Australian stories
All major copyright territories around the world, including the UK and the USA, allow for the protection of their own markets. If the repeal of PIRs on books proceeds, Australian authors and the industry that supports them will lose the territorial copyright protections that allow for a healthy participation in the local and global marketplace.
In 2012, Scott Morrison told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I don’t read international fiction. I just don’t relate to it. I’m interested in our stories.”
Like Mr Morrison, we too are interested in Australian stories and want to see them continue to be widely available. That's why we are supporting hundreds of concerned Australian authors and illustrators, including Peter Carey, Mem Fox, Richard Flanagan, Susan Johnson, Tom Keneally and Christos Tsiolkas, in calling upon the government to reverse this decision and keep parallel importation restrictions on books.
There is still time to make your voice heard before the government's announced progression of this move in August 2016. Whether you are a writer, illustrator, reader or supporter of Australian books, please sign and share the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) petition to stop parallel importation.
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