Foreign RemindersPublisher: The Writers' Union of Canada, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX515
Abstract: The Writers Union of Canada has 254 members who qualify by having one book currently in print or published for trade within past seven years.
"Foreign Reminders" is a brief to the Secretary of State and the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs regarding the problems of the scale in Canada of foriegn reminders of Canadian books.Reminders are imported editions of books originally written and published in Canada.Thousands of these books from the United States are sold at a fraction of their original price to jobbers and end up in Canadian book chains.This results in Canadian authors loosing royalities on the sale of foreign editions,Canadian editions are diminished by the competition from the lower priced American editions and Canadian authorsend up unable to sell paperback rights becayse foreign editions undercut sales.This in turn results in economic losses for the Canadian publishing industry. At the moment, twenty-six major Canadian writers and forty titles are affected.
Three major book chaines- Coles',Classics', and W.H Smith with a total of 197 bookstores across Canada are the largest dispensers of these books. The Union suspect jobbers of encouraging American publishers to overproduce, and the Canadian bookstores are taking advantage of loopholes in the Copright Act to enjoy windfall profit. The Union points out that it has been asking the government to act on this matter for several years.What thay ask for is immediate amendment revision to the Copyright Act which would make it illegal to sell foreign editions of Canadian books to Canada.Both the United Kingdom and the United States have prevented the sale of remaindered editions in their own countries. If this does not happen the Union predicts that Canadian writers will sell only American publishers with the consequences that the Canadian publishing industry will suffer.