Parallel-Importation Restrictions on Books

While not being specifically about the ongoing Australian debate about the parallel-importation restrictions on books, this piece about the history of the UK publishing house Faber & Faber makes a very telling point:

Stephen Page, the current CEO of Faber & Faber, thinks British publishing is caught in the endgame of the death of the net book agreement in 1995. This enabled supermarkets and large retailers to heavily discount prices. "It decimated the independent booksellers and drew everyone into a much more mass market conversation based around bestsellers, which has not been good news for a publisher like Faber," he says. Price has become the way to attract buyers and so from top to bottom the margins were squeezed.

Pro-abolitionists will dismiss this as not being applicable or just plain wrong. But, surely, if it happened there it will happen here.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 1, 2009 2:27 PM.

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