In Conversation with… Sabian Wilde

Marketing Lecturer. Writer. Music Bod. Claims to have coined 'Perthonality'

Dymocks can blow goat dicks in hell for eternity.

with 6 comments

OK, for a start I’m disappointed that an editorial written by the CEO of a large book retailing chain should appear in the ABC news: especially when it’s spruiking a ‘public petition’ engineered by it’s own book-lovers club – presumably at the sincere request of its members, with no undue influence from Dymocks itself.

Of course the general public would prefer items to be cheaper than more expensive…

But to suggest that the book industry will reap the same ‘benefits’ as the music industry through the removal of parallel import restrictions is to begin from the unproven premise that just because it happened, it worked.

The manufacture of recorded music in Australia resulted in various royalty streams, including mechanical royalties (the individual creation of each CD, regardless of sale, is considered a reproduction of the IP inherent in the content).

Revenues like these go to the companies and artists responsible for the content.

For the major labels, the local manufacture of international artists produces revenues that are reinvested in local content… without the sale of Pearl Jam records manufactured in Australia prior to 1998, Sony Music Australia would have been limited in their ability to develop, promote and release artists such as Western Australia’s Ammonia — for better or worse.

The same holds true in the film industry, where distributors of international films, such as Palace, use distribution revenues to fund the production of local content.

With the removal of the parallel importation restrictions the price of CDs did indeed become slightly cheaper… not only because of the ‘efficiencies’ credited to cheaper labour in poorer countries, but because the distribution of some royalties are determined by the intellectual property/copyright regimes of the territories in which they are manufactured.

Under the new regime, it is now theoretically possible for an Australian artist to make a record, get signed (in either order), only to have that record manufactured overseas, generating less revenue for the artist and then have it imported back into Australia.

Yes, it is true that the consumer gets the product for less.

Retailers will still be making the same profit margin on each item, and it is probably their hope that in making each item cheaper, they will sell more product.

For a retailer such as Dymocks to suggest that it is fighting for the consumer by creating an operating environment in which it (the retailer) can make more money, by suggesting that the current regime is one of irrational self-interest from other businesses in the supply chain, is laughable at best and not more than a little disingenous.

As far as I know, Dymocks only sells books, it doesn’t publish them and it doesn’t take the risks associated with developing new talent… they may call themselves BookLovers, but it is difficult to believe that they care what you read or what you get out of it — just where you buy it.


Written by Xab

Friday, April 24, 2009 at 11:34 am

6 Responses

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  1. yay. when i read that item on the abc i was furious at first, until i saw who wrote it. there is an obvious blind spot from consumers who are sucked into the lure of cheap goods. they don’t realised that they pay a price one way or another.


    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 11:54 am

  2. Absolutely true.
    How many more cases of this are we going to see while the “Global Financial Crisis” is going on?
    People let their guard down because their wallets are empty and lose their rights and assets once and for all.


    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 12:10 pm

  3. Hey, I LIKED Ammonia…


    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    • And here’s me thinking that one might fly under the radar. I loved Mint 400, but that was about it.


      Friday, April 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

  4. Good call 🙂


    Friday, April 24, 2009 at 7:33 pm

  5. Onya, Tim Winton:
    “If we change the laws, the odds are we will lose things because it’s essentially ceding power to larger foreign traders – rights they aren’t asking for, but if there is an open door, they will come in.

    “We are potentially training a new generation of literary exiles and that’s bitterly disappointing.”,25197,25656383-2702,00.html


    Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 9:18 am

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