Thursday, February 24, 2011

The 2m Battle Takes a Poetic Turn (parallel importation, and copyright law)

[In response to : Round 3 of Thomas Abraham’s rebuttal to ‘Why the Parallel Importation of Books should be Allowed’. I thought it merited a separate post.]
[Apologies to all the genuine poets out there! This is for those with a palate for bad poetry perhaps.  I'm no poet; am at it just for the sake of rebuttal.]

Anonymous said:

In Praise of Remainders

I gone through the blogs,
The big fight over a simple clause, 
Is it worth to fight for this cause;

I have seen my friends carrying those books,
on cycle, on scooter and many on foot, 
Buses and trains, in sweat and in pain; 

They work everyday, they work very hard,
Without knowing anything about the 2m clause,
The voices raised by the servants of colony,
At high places in cold office, with warm cigars and high alimony;

O booklovers! erase the past 
let’s rejoice when this clause is passed,
As India will cease to be a colony
and will show the world that it can make it’s own laws;

My friends who serve the booklover’s community,
Going from college to college they serve the teaching community;
They still work day and night for this simple cause,
Let them earn their livelihood in peace,
let them supply some remainder books please!

 DD Said:

Dear Mr Anonymous,
Our hero here eponymous,
Unfortunately fights not for nought
But for the whole of us ill-fated lot.

You’ve seen your friends carrying those books,
I assure you it’s not half as cool as it looks!
On buses and trains, in sweat and in pain...
Publishers too sweat, and without complaint.

They work everyday, they work very hard,
Risking their moolah, and suffering their bards,
The voices raised by (higher) powers that be,
No cigars, no alimony; only mental third degree.

O book lovers -- raise the bar! 
Do not rejoice when this clause is passed,
As India will precisely become a colony
Legalising what is in every sense -- felony.

It is worth indeed to fight for this cause,
More -- it is worth a huge applause,
All we ask is to let us earn our bread in peace,
Understand the enormity; let the absurdity cease.



  1. I am too a publisher,
    Gone through the same struggling phase earlier.

    We don’t take up this trade to make moolah
    As you know, at times it is difficult to even burn our ‘”chullah.”

    The life of a publisher is never so simple,
    The actual publishing world was destroyed
    When amazon manufactured ‘kindle’.

    Please exlain?
    Booklover’s don’t understand,
    How India will be a colony when market is free.

    O Booklovers! please understand about the book market in West,
    When the rights are given to UK publishers it gives them
    automatic rights to sell in India and rest.

    The main reason why MNC from UK are crying,
    All the rights from US publishers, which they have been buying;
    They lose the edge to price their books, when the publishers
    from US sells same books.

    These MNC publishers are taking India for a ride,
    They are pricing the books higher
    For salaries of their unknowledgeable
    high flying employee’s.

    O booklovers ! erase the past
    Let’s rejoice when this clause is passed,
    The prices of the books should definitely come down
    No MNC publisher should be allowed to fill it’s ‘Cash Godown’.

  2. Oh dearie me, in circles we go,
    Again and again our rebuttals flow,
    Ah but jesting pilates – they refuse to read!
    And turn instead upon their own breed.

    It’s not just Penguin, Hachette, and Harper,
    Crying against this miserable charter,
    But also Rupa, Roli, Navayana,
    Zubaan, Yatra, even infant Gyaana.

    To re-state the case in verse with frills,
    Is beyond the scope of my meagre skills,
    But have the patience – take your time,
    Peruse the rebuttals – it’s of consequence prime.

    It’s not about Indies versus MNCs,
    If the bill’s passed, it’s everybody’s nemesis,
    Methinks you need to verify some facts,
    Before we embark upon the next act.

  3. The Indian market is already free,
    It’s the plain truth – as free as free can be.
    Every book can be accessed here,
    With territorial copyright we have no fear.
    The publishers object to an open market,
    To do a title – and no place to park it;
    To allow the foreign editions run riot,
    While the local one has no one to buy it.
    Foreign remainders will flood the country,
    And kill our Indian publishing industry.
    All mature markets have a legal shield,
    Their own liberty not one will yield.
    The parallel import line – no one will toe,
    Let in one’s own title? It’s suicide, no?
    The UK or the US, and thriving nations,
    Keep their territories; safe – their stations.
    In an open market, no rights will be bought,
    No income earned, no author sought.
    There’ll be no need! With a free for all,
    Any player could enter – big or small.
    If the market's opened, who d'you think will sell?
    From the US -- Sahitya Akademi? CBT? Ah well!
    Our own publishers we shall drown,
    And fill the foreign companies' cash go-down.
    With their US offices, MNCs might still stay,
    Make no mistake: it’s the Indies who’ll die away.
    The open market will only advance crooks,
    And make India a colony of nothing but dumped books!

  4. Dear DD

    I have gone away to check some facts,
    Enjoyed my Sunday with a cricket match.

    The match for 2m clause, may not go till the last ball,
    As empire here will not be able to make a call;

    The remainders, parallel imports and the lovely 2m clause,
    I think myself worthy to fight for this cause;

    As I am fighting for a community who don't understand what is happening at their back,
    That their future livelihood is under attack;

    We take publishing due to a passion, but they work hard due to a compulsion;
    When we embark on publishing as a career,
    We always have a back up A and back up B plan;

    We always have something to fall back if publishing don't click,
    Even after help from all the media houses to have our books click.

    Don't talks about publishers who make a million dollar a year in publishing,
    It includes Rupa, Roli and it includes a number of other India publishers too;
    The Navayana and Zubaan and the other independent presses,
    They work as NGO’s and get grants on the go;

    Let me give you an example here,
    The owner of Navayana moves in a Chauffer driven car,
    And most of my friends can’t buy a simple decent car;

    The books by Sahitya and CBT are mainly on Indian theme's,
    no remainder books will be able to fight them in that stream;

    Let us talk about remainders books,
    Can you please explain what are remainder books ?
    As far as my knowledge of fairs abroad, they are the publishers hurts and overstock;

    What does Penguin and Hachette do, importing the books for a dime,
    Then pricing and selling in the Indian markets for a higher price
    So you see, they are selling remainder books too,
    They are selling their overstocks too.

    Then what is the great crime,
    If they do,
    then it is legal and when other's do it's illegal.

    The remainders have been in Indian market for years,
    The clause is not going to change anything my dear;

    The market will remain the same even if the clause is passed,
    A 10% here and there a question if asked.

  5. My man, you’re batting on a sticky wicket,
    Take my advice – just stick to cricket.
    Your words reek of sourness; aren’t worth a dime,
    For such private animosity I’ve no appetite or time.
    Personal resentment; charges flung in haste,
    Hiding behind anonymity, commentary in bad taste.
    About the issue at hand you haven’t cared to study,
    Ranting’s your programme; to reputations muddy.
    All your facts are mixed up, theory wide of the mark,
    No publisher here makes millions; no one’s a white shark.
    Your anger is disgraceful, your arguments cry for help,
    And if you’re looking to speak again, identify yourself.