I say Yes in my book on the topic (see here
), and at least Dingle Smith agreed in his review in the recent issue of The Asia Pacific Exhibitor.
Being issued to show the payment of a copyright royalty imposed by an Act of Parliament, which included the stipulation for the use of stamps means they came under the originating
authority of a government, even if the proceeds explicitly were not for the Government's use. This makes them Revenues per FIP criteria.
Why is this important for Australia?
Well, while only 38 Australian companies issued the stamps out of the 220-odd issuers known so far (the rest being mainly GB and European countries), some of those local issuers were particularly prolific. The most commonly sighted on 78rpm records and pianola rolls locally are J. Albert & Son, Allan & Co, D. Davis & Co, Chappell & Co Sydney and Palings. Between just these 5, they account for 27 pages of catalogue listing - Alberts takes 10 pages alone!
This gives a large collecting scope i.e. there's lots out there. More importantly, as Revenues (and not Cinderellas) they deserve some more status and research, and should be now exhibited in the Revenue class.
Australians would have first seen them very shortly after they appeared in the UK in 1912, as records were already being pressed especially for export to the Antipodes at that time. Thus the early regional labels like Kalophone and Rexophone would have appeared bearing UK stamps.
With the 'dumping' of older US and Canadian stock from 1924 to about 1927, Alberts, Allans and the like acting as agents for big overseas copyright holders such as Francis Day & Hunter, or MCPS, began producing their own stamps to be affixed to the imported records on arrival.
The growth of the local industry in the late 1920s increased the range of local issuers dramatically, and from then until the 1940s, a large volume of 78s in Australasia bore at least one stamp. Same for piano rolls. Most had finished with stamps by 1950, and all by the mid-60s.
Now my question to you.
Given the sheer number and variety of these stamps knocking around since WW1, and after 1927 in particular, why can't I find any contemporary reference to them, even in passing. Screeds have been written over the years on much more obscure (as in harder to find in the wild) local revenue stamps, but not these?
The same goes for the UK - vast numbers of stamps under philatelists noses for decades - zip in the philatelic press.
I'd love to hear your theories, and of course I'll try to answer any question on this topic too.