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This report is taken from PN Review 24, Volume 8 Number 4, March - April 1982.

After Monory Vivienne Menkes
Authors, publishers, sellers and readers of serious and specialist literature, whatever their political persuasion, are optimistic about the benefits liable to accrue from the success of the Socialists in the French presidential and parliamentary elections. Less than three months after their sweeping parliamentary victory a number of encouraging measures have already been taken and many more are promised.

The first of these, which received approval in the National Assembly within a month of the formation of the new government, is a law introducing virtual retail price maintenance for books. Booksellers will be allowed to give discounts of up to 5%, but this concession bears no relation to the wide variations in prices (up to 135%) that have occurred as a result of the notorious Monory Decree introduced by the previous government in 1979 to remove price controls on books. One of François Mitterrand's election pledges was that he would abolish the decree if he was elected, and his promise has been carried out remarkably quickly. The new law has been welcomed by small and specialist booksellers and publishers-and by authors. It comes into force on 1 January 1982 and will put an end to a situation that in a mere two years has-as has been frequently noted in these columns-done immense harm to small stock-holding booksellers and resulted in many cancelled author's contracts and the publication of far fewer literary and academic works. A clause making it illegal for any bookseller to refuse single-copy orders from customers should also ...

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