Help the ASA Fight for Australian Authors

Here’s a message from the CEO of the Australian Society of Authors, Juliet Rogers, that is relevant to us both as editors and readers of Australian books.

The Australian book industry is currently staging the fight of its life against the ill-informed and potentially very damaging changes to copyright being recommended by the Productivity Commission in their recently released draft report.

We Need Your Help

Although our Arts Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, has finally made a statement denying that the government has any plans to reduce the term of copyright down to 15–25 years from creation of work, that statement makes no reference to the far more real and threatening prospects of the parallel importation of books and ‘fair use’ exceptions to the Copyright Act 1968.

If introduced, these two changes to copyright would devastate our industry, by further reducing author income, increasing publisher risk and generally destabilising the publishing ecosystem for no apparent purpose other than the free market ideology of the current government and the Productivity Commission.

Your Role

We at the ASA are fighting hard and proactively for Australian authors, but strength really does lie in numbers.

If every one of you persuaded just one of your author friends to join us, we could double the strength of our voice overnight.

We authored a petition that has almost secured 10,000 signatures, with no sign of slowing down. We have had productive meetings with Shadow Minister for the Arts Mark Dreyfus, Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent Senator Nick Xenophon, and are continuing, with the support of the Australian Publishers Association and other industry bodies, to seek a meeting with the elusive Senator Fifield. We will also be making a further submission to the Productivity Commission on our members’ behalf. Our position is set out at www.asauthors.org/copyright-under-threat.

But the more people we can gather to the cause, the greater our chances of success. So tell your friends to visit www.asauthors.org/join or call (02) 9211 1004 to become an ASA member today.

[Australian Society of Authors] is built on a proud heritage of successful advocacy on behalf of Australian writers. Our history includes the establishment of Public Lending Right, Educational Lending Right and Copyright Agency. More recently, we have campaigned for, and will continue to fight to achieve, Digital Lending Right, tax-free literary prizes and grants and fairer ebook royalties for authors.