A Productivity Commission recommendation to get rid of the print industry’s copyright restrictions has been rejected by Australian authors, printers and leading business groups as economic vandalism.
AMWU Print Division National Secretary, Steve Walsh, at a Productivity Commission Roundtable today to discuss the report said that out of the 279 submissions received, a total of 269 oppose the measures.
“Australia’s printing industry and its supporters are vocal in their rejection of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations. Indeed, amongst those who oppose them include Ai Group and the Victorian Government.
“Losing the copyright restrictions that currently exist would see a reduction of $70 to 80 million per annum in revenue, at a time when the Australian economy is struggling with high unemployment levels and the effects of recession.
“The AMWU is very concerned that any implementation of the Commission’s plan for Australia’s Book Printing Industry would mean:
- Reduction in title availability
- Reduction of books printed in Australia
- Negative environmental impact as a result of increased use of air and sea freight, which will furthermore impact on prices to consumers
- Direct job losses from the industry, at a time when unemployment levels are skyrocketing.
- No guarantee that books would be cheaper
“We urge the Federal government to listen to the majority view that the removal of our existing copyright restrictions will drastically undermine and devastate Australia’s printing industry.
“There will be social, economic and environmental impacts if the Government decides to implement the Commission’s recommendations, and it will be to the detriment to Australia’s thriving book printing industry and literary community, said Mr Walsh.