The Book Industry Collaborative Council (BICC) was established by the Australian federal government to support the Australian book industry in developing its own strategic reform agenda. Led by eminent arts economist Professor David Throsby, the BICC was comprised of senior book industry and library representatives and experts from complementary sectors.
The BICC ceased operations on 30 June 2013 and will be replaced by the proposed Book Industry Council of Australia (BICA). The information below relates to the activities of the BICC during its one-year lifespan.
The BICC has identified seven key areas of immediate focus. Each of these is being examined by an Expert Reference Group (ERG) that is led by a BICC member and comprised from industry representatives. For a number of the focus issues, industry groups hold differing views and the immediate challenge is to establish a collective position and identify a clear way forward to achieve the best overall outcomes for the Australian book industry. In other cases, the path is clearer and the ERGs are able to focus on developing strategies to progress the industry’s efficiency and global competitiveness.
1. Copyright ERG: chaired by Nicholas Pullen
The Copyright ERG’s task is to develop a position paper which maps the current rights environment for books, proposes viable alternative approaches for a digital market and outlines how these may be practically applied.
2. Data ERG: chaired by Jon Page
The Data ERG’s task is to develop a framework for the Australian book industry, including participating industry associations, to collect book industry data. The framework will form the basis for an agreement between industry participants on how sustainable data collection for the book industry can commence.
3. Distribution ERG: chaired by Gabrielle Coyne
The Distribution ERG’s task is to develop an agreed plan and timeline between publishers, distributors and booksellers on how to reduce delivery time, minimise cost and improve access to Australian physical and digital books.
4. Export ERG: chaired by Louise Adler
The Export ERG’s task is to develop an implementation strategy for export of Australian books that identifies potential new markets and opportunities for expansion within existing markets, proposes a methodology, and defines the required investment.
5. Industry Skills ERG: chaired by Sophie Hamley
The Skills ERG’s task is to develop an agreed strategy for addressing digital skills needs across the book supply chain.
6. Lending Rights ERG: co-chaired by Evelyn Woodberry and Sophie Masson
The Lending Rights ERG’s task is to develop a position paper which can inform industry and government on industry’s collective view regarding the principles for a consistent model for supply of ebooks to libraries and a framework for digital lending rights as a possible extension of existing lending rights schemes.
7. Scholarly Book Publishing ERG: chaired by John Byron
The Scholarly Book Publishing ERG’s task is to develop a position paper on scholarly book publishing in the humanities and social sciences which outlines the role and benefits of scholarly book publishing, the challenges scholarly book publishing faces today and in the near future, both in Australia and abroad, the means by which key actors can best collaborate to maximise exposure of Australian scholarship to the global research community in a financially sustainable way and recommendations to governments, the publishing industry and the research sector that will give effect these priorities.
For more information on the BICC members, terms of reference and the ERGs, you can visit the government website at www.innovation.gov.au/books