Archive for March, 2013

The price of digital downloads in Australia

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Big week for parallel imports last week:

(1) the US Supreme Court declared US law applies a doctrine of international exhaustion for copyright material

(2) Adobe, Apple and Microsoft fronted the Australian Parliament to explain why digital “things” cost so much more in Australia than elsewhere (i.e., the USA).

Apple’s defence said, amongst other things, it was the price it had to pay to the owners of Australian copyright – lovely chart here. Other reports (with more analysis) here and here (which may be challenges Apple’s explanation a bit for its own products).

That didn’t really work as an explanation for Adobe, which gets lambasted here.

Perhaps, just maybe, treating digital downloads as a single global market might lead to some lowering of prices, but the beauty of digital delivery (from the content owner’s perspective) is that you can set your price and the customer can buy or not.

Is there a link between (1) and (2)?

In his analysis, Prof. Goldman sets out a number of reasons why he thinks Kirtsaeng, while it may provide some good news in terms of lower prices, will have only a short term effect.

(I suppose we can trumpet the fact that our technological protection measure protections don’t extend to protecting region coding (here and here), although I do wonder how one would prove that was the purpose of the (ac)tpm.)

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Resale Royalty Right in Australia

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The 1709 Blog has a report about the operation of the resale royalty right scheme (here or here) given by the (then) Minister for the Arts to the Senate.

Some highlights:

  • since the scheme started in 2011, CAL (the official collecting agency) has paid out just over $805,000
  • 150 “rights holders” (I guess that would be painters or their heirs) have received the top 600 payments which totalled just under $300,000
  • 59% of the payments went to indigenous artists; of which there were 301 payments of the top 600 payments going to 91 “right holders”
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