Tag Archives: books

Governed by the gutless?

Alan Beattie’s new booklet “Who’s in Charge Here” (Amazon) is an amusing, accurate, accessible account of the current mess in global financial and trade “governance.” Well worth the $3 price. But he draws a “lesson” from his little history of the crises of 2008-2011 that I find un-satisfying. Who’s in Charge Here is a valuable […]

ABC blames readers

The terrible thing about A&R’s bankruptcy is that it’s a direct result of a foolish government policy (and maybe other things, too; see the update below). “Former NSW premier Bob Carr, a director at rival bookstore chain Dymocks, said the government was driving retailers to the wall by failing to open the wholesale book market […]

Led by lunatics

Mark Lawson’s new book “A Guide to Climate Change Lunacy” (ConnorCourt Publishing, 2010) arrives with brilliant timing, just as Australia gets another chance to make a choice on climate change policies in the 2010 election. Based on his credentials as a respected journalist — he’s a leading science journalist and editor for the Australian Financial […]

Remove the buy-local tax on books

Yes! The right recommendation for a more competitive and better-informed (or, at least, better-read) Australia.

“The Government should repeal Australia’s Parallel Import Restrictions (PIRs) for books. The repeal should take effect three years after the date that it is announced.” Extract from Research report – Productivity Commission

This discretionary quota on books maintains local margins for the global book publishers and printers at the cost of readers and competitive Australian publishing. Now maybe—at last—we will see a more aggressive release of electronic titles (‘Kindle books’) in Australia. Welcome to the 21st century.

Readers pay for publishers’ protection

Joshua Gans seems to agree with me that access to low-cost Kindle e-books is one reason to get rid of the ban on competitive (‘parallel’) import of books.

“So why is it possible for hard copies of books to move across international borders but not electronic copies? The answer is that publishers, who have intellectual monopolies over these works, for their own reasons have not done the deals to make it possible. ” Extract from The Age

He suggests that publishers could try a ‘fair trade’ pricing scheme for local publishing. But they do that already.