Australian gov scraps proposed changes to book imports

<p>The Australian Government has announced that it willabandon proposed changes to Australia&#39;s book import laws, instead saying that online retailers such as Amazon and electronic books would drive innovation and price reductions.<br /><br />The news has been warmly welcomed by Australian publishers and authors, who had campaigned against the proposed changes to parallel importation restrictions, which could have led to an an open-market in the country. But booksellers, some of whom wanted restrictions scrapped or reduced, have been left disappointed.<br /><br />Under the existing rules, a title qualifies for protection if the Australian publisher releases the book within 30 days of its overseas release. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the government is believed to have explored a compromise that would have reduced this 30-day period to seven or 14 days. But that plan, as well as an alternative proposal of a price cap similar to one in place in Canada, were rejected.<br /><br />Consumer affairs minister Craig Emerson said in a statement: &quot;In the circumstances of intense competition from online books and e-books, the government judged that changing the regulations governing book imports is unlikely to have any material effect on the availability of books in Australia.&quot;<br /><br />Louise Adler from Melbourne University Publishing told ABC News: &quot;I think this is a historic win, an important win and a recognition of the context and the vibrancy of the publishing industry that we operate in today.&quot;<br /><br />But the Coalition for Cheaper Books said it would continue to fight for the restrictions to be lifted. &quot;The Federal Government has said that it is ok for consumers to buy cheaper books from the internet, but not Australian bookshops,&quot; Coalition member and Dymocks chief executive Don Grover said. &quot;This is unsustainable. It&#39;s only a matter of time before jobs are lost.&quot; <br /></p>