Did you know that if an Australian publisher reprints a foreign title within 30 days of it's release anywhere else in the world, there's a copyright law Down Under that requires Australian bookstores to only sell the Australian edition? I didn't either, until I read an article in The Guardian about prominent Oz authors protesting a Government review aimed at perhaps rescinding the law.
This can mean that books are more expensive – and harder to get hold of – in Australia than they are elsewhere, but also allows the country's local publishing to flourish, rather than forcing it to compete with a flood of cheaper-priced editions from overseas.
[…]Booker prize-winning author Peter Carey argued against making any changes. "As long as we have a territorial copyright our publishers have a commercial argument to support Australian literature," he said. "They will battle for the sake of our readers and our writers, even if their owners have no personal commitment to the strange loves and needs of Australian readers, or the cultural integrity and future of the Australian nation."
1 thought on “They Do Things Differently Down Under”
If you want details of the issue, here are the real detais:
The law seems to be aimed at protecting the profit margins of people who buy the local rights to foreign works. The theory is that they will make lots of money, and hopefully decide to use the profits to support local writers instead of using the profit for other purposes.
I never really understood the logic of that.