10 July 08 | Chad W. Post

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about the cost of imported books in Argentina and the impact this has on access. (In case you’re interested, Scott Esposito wrote an interesting piece a while back about the cost of books.)

Oddly enough, it seems like Australia has a related, yet different sort of problem—publishers there are lobbying to keep a ban on importing cheap editions of books:

The Council of Australian Governments decided last week to ask the Productivity Commission to review copyright laws restricting the parallel importation of books.

These laws give the Australian copyright owner control over who is allowed to import books subject to the 30-day rule. Under this rule, local publishers must supply a book within 30 days of its publication overseas, otherwise booksellers can import directly from the foreign publisher. (via The Australian)

Behind this restriction seems to lie a much bigger problem of distribution. Something’s wrong when it could take more than 30 days to supply a copy of a published book. (I’ve been thinking a lot about distribution recently—it’s a side-effect of doing sales calls—and was planning to write a long post about this today . . . )


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