Not so good. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

The Federal Government’s economic advisory body is likely to recommend scrapping copyright provisions preventing the parallel importing of books…

The Productivity Commission, known for espousing orthodox economic principles, is uncomfortable with market restrictions on book imports. But in a draft paper in March the commission said removing all import restrictions would damage the industry. Instead it advocated limits should apply for a year after a book was first published, but then be removed. The Herald understands the final report tomorrow is likely to go further and suggest the eventual removal of all import restrictions…

Those fighting the removal are probably the country’s most articulate lobby. Authors such as Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and Peter Carey have peppered the commission with submissions. Winton wrote: “Copyright recognises and enshrines the value of original work. Copyright is the single most important industrial fact in a writer’s life, the civilising influence of a culture upon a market.”…

Maree McCaskill, the chief executive officer of the Australian Publishers Association, said publishers would be less likely to search for and nurture new authors, and instead would rely more on established names in the book industry to guarantee sales.

(Via Crikey’s Breakfast Media Wrap)

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