I am sitting here still caked in yesterday’s makeup from a dress rehearsal, with fuzzy teeth and a growling stomach but I’m happy – I’ve just finished my letter to Canberra against the removal of PIRs on books.
I thought I would post my letter as an another example for you guys and also to show that even us ordinary folk can take action. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found the addresses of the politician’s involved and great example letters from Saving Aussie Books, which helped me tremendously.
Re: Proposal to remove the Parallel Importation Restrictions on books
I am writing to voice my concern at the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to lift the restrictions against the parallel importation of books. If this move is passed, I believe it will do great harm to the Australian publishing industry through the loss of a great number of jobs and to the future of Australian books.
The Productivity Commission has admitted that there is no guarantee that the abolition of Territorial Copyright laws will deliver cheaper books. In fact, both the USA and the UK have no intention of removing their parallel importation restriction and risking their industries.
Furthermore, the current recommended retail pricing of books is not for the ‘elite’ but is comparable to a movie ticket or a cafe dinner. As a fervid reader and a low-income earner myself, I am always interested in a ‘good deal’ but not at such a high cultural cost to my country.
By removing our current restrictions, Australia will be inundated with foreign editions of our own books. Our culture and identity will be stripped from our own stories and replaced with American and British culture and references.
The future generations of Australia will develop with no knowledge, respect or care for Australian history and culture and will grow up believing that our country is inferior to the successes of our American and British friends.
From a personal perspective, I am urging you to support the Australian publishing industry by keeping parallel importation restrictions in place. I have fallen in love with stories by Nick Earls, Kim Wilkins, Shane Maloney, Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman and many others that proudly feature Australian characters.
These authors and their stories have taught me that I, as an Australian, have a valid lifestyle and culture. Amongst the wash of American blockbusters and sitcoms on our screens, these authors and their stories have made me feel that I belong and that I should be proud to be Australian. I do not believe that these authors would have achieved such an outstanding contribution to our country if not for the protection of our current parallel importation restrictions.
I urge the Australian Government to recognise our thriving publishing industry and to protect our Australian culture by keeping the current parallel importation restrictions on books.