The book industry vs book readers

Australia’s literati think that we owe them a living. In the Weekend Australian today, author Michael Wilding complains that

Through the years Australian governments have consistently disadvantaged books and writers,

but what he really means is that Australian governments have become less inclined to advantage book publishers, sellers and writers, at the expense of readers and taxpayers.

Wilding’s criticisms aren’t even consistent. He starts by complaining that the GST made books more expensive, yet his very next complaint is about the abolition of retail price maintenance – which prevented booksellers from discounting to make books cheaper!

He says relaxation of copyright rules, so that booksellers could bring in foreign books not published by local copyright holders within 30 days, undermined the importation business he used to maintain his small Australian publishing firm. Unless he was being very inefficient I am not sure why. He could still overcharge provided he did it quickly.
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