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30/90 rule reduction a boon for book printers

Thursday, 17 May 2012
By Print 21 Online Article

Australian book printing companies will benefit from agreement on the introduction of the Book Industry Speed to Market initiative, according to Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries).

The voluntary initiative will see a reduction of the 30/90 day copyright rule governing the importing of books to 14/14 from 1 June 2012. However it will not replace the legislated 30/90 rule.

Currently, if a book is produced overseas, Australian publishers have 30 days after its foreign release to publish it in Australia. If no action is taken within this time, the book can be ‘parallel imported’ into the country, despite copyright protection. Once the book is published in Australia, the publisher then has 90 days to replenish stock.

Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey (pictured) says that the reduction in the amount of time publishers had to take books to market would benefit Australian printers over offshore rivals.

“A key imperative for the change is the need by publishers to get the greatest number of books possible out to as many readers as possible in the shortest time possible. Australian printers are in an excellent position to be able to do this,” he says.

Healey commends the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) for its recommendation, which led to the agreement for the voluntary change.

Participating parties included the Australian Publishers Association, Australian Booksellers Association, Australian Society of Authors, Australian Literary Agents’ Association and Printing Industries Association of Australia.

Printing Industries National Manager, for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian, says the 30/90 day rule was established many years ago when the Internet and e-commerce were non-existent.

“Technology has changed everything including the wants of consumers for faster delivery of books and has also enabled our industry to be able to meet that demand locally,” says Tchamkertenian.

“Australian book printers are ideally positioned to benefit from these new arrangements as they have invested in digital printing capability in recent times, a trend that is expected to increase under the new voluntary rules,” he says.

Tchamkertenian says the change would not apply to books where the main content was musical works, manuals sold with computer software or periodical publications.

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