OTTAWA, Oct. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, a new website was launched to help
campaign against high textbook prices. The site, cheapertextbooks.ca, will
provide Canadian students the opportunity to directly contact political
candidates about ways to reduce textbook prices in Canada.
In particular, the site highlights regulations in the Copyright Act that
serve to inflate textbook prices. The Act allows publishers to establish
import monopolies on the works of artists from around the world. These
exclusive distributors can in turn add an additional 10 or 15% to the price of
a book, over and above any differences in exchange. So long as distributors
don't charge more than this, it is a copyright violation for bookstores to
purchase books from other sources, a process known as parallel importation.
"These regulations artificially inflate the cost of textbooks, adding
what amounts to a private tariff," said Wayne Amundson, spokesperson for
"This means that Canadian students are forced to pay more than their
colleagues in other countries for exactly the same texts."
A book's author does not receive any direct financial benefit from this
tariff; it is pure profit for distributors. Removing this tariff would mean a
10 or 15% drop in the price of most textbooks, virtually overnight.
Cheapertextbooks.ca allows visitors, students and non-students alike, to
send a message directly to candidates in their riding, asking them to support
removing this tariff.
"All parties have promised varying forms of support for post-secondary
students," said Amundson, "but removing this tariff would provide real
financial benefit to students while not costing a single tax dollar. That is
the essence of good public policy."
For further information:
For further information: Michael Powell, (613) 233-8906, Cell: (613)
797-7313, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cheapertextbooks.ca