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Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple ‘demolishing’ the Australian industry, says Grant at Copyright Agency AGM

Changes to the Board of the Copyright Agency were announced at its AGM on Wednesday 28 November.

Publisher director Rodney Martin stepped down from his role, having served his maximum term on the board, while newly elected publisher director Eleanor Curtain, director and publishing director of Eleanor Curtin Publishing, joined the board at the AGM.

Malcolm Knox was re-elected to the board and Brian Johns was reappointed to the board as an independent director at the meeting.

In an address at the meeting, Copyright Agency chair and CEO of Hardie Grant Publishing Sandy Grant warned members of the threat of international ‘publishing juggernauts’ to Australian writing.

‘Without a doubt, we are in a dogfight. Make no mistake, publishing juggernauts like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (GAFA) are demolishing the Australian writing and publishing industry,’ he said. ‘Initially seen as white knights, GAFA are turning content into a commodity designed to drive sales of advertising or hardware. They make no investment in the development of new talent and the sharing of Australian stories.’

‘We need the next generation to be convinced that this is work to be respected and rewarded. Copyright Agency accepts it has a serious responsibility to fully participate in what is a massive international battle to convince digital natives that paying for content is right.’

As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, the Copyright Agency distributed a record $141.6 million to members in the 2011-12 financial year, an increase of 16% on the previous year.

The agency reported that its growth of 4515 members for the year ‘was the largest number of recruitments in a single year’, bringing membership to 24,342, ‘an 80% increase from just two years ago’.



Category: Local news