Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Productivity Commission to review all IP laws

Minister announce Productivity Commission to review Australia’s IP laws

Parallel imports

Articles on parallel imports published in (2014) 22(1) CCLJ 1, 21 and 39.

The price of digital downloads in Australia

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 –.. Read More

Agreements to block parallel imports

According to the Age today, a number of (fashion) importers have agreed with their overseas manufacturers that the manufacturers will not supply orders to online purchasers in Australia: Importers close door on overseas online stores by Rachel Wells. The Gerry Harvey-esque arguments about how GST makes local retailers uncompetitive get a run again but, as previously noted, Prof. Gans is not convinced by that (in the context of digital downloads)… Read More

The price of digital downloads in Australia

Apparently inspired by this report, Senator Conroy, the Orwellian named Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy,[1] has acted to announce a new inquiry to be undertaken by the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications. Reports here and here. According to that second report, someone trailed a coat on the issue last week when ACCC Commissioner Ed Willett appeared before the Joint Committee on the National.. Read More

iTunes Match and making Prof. Lessig’s case

Recap: Prof. Lessig’s argument. You will remember that Michael Speck from Music Industry Piracy Investigations was outraged by Apple’s pending iTunes Match service and, in particular, the part where the service would in your iCloud account copies of music on your hard drive which had not been bought through iTunes. At the time, it wasn’t clear (at least to me) whether Apple was going all gung-ho and just offering this.. Read More

A case of (un) parallel imports

BTB holds a licence to make and sell “Greg Norman” branded clothing in India from Greg Norman Collection Inc (GNC). GNC is the “head licensor” of the “Greg Norman” trade marks registered in, amongst other places, India and Australia. By clause 2.4 of the licence agreement, BTB agreed not to sell the branded clothing it made outside India without GNC’s consent: LICENSEE acknowledges that this License is limited to the.. Read More

Parallel imports, books and Australia

The Australian Government has announced today that it will not be changing the limitations in the Copyright Act on the parallel importation of books. According to the Press Release: Australian book printing and publishing is under strong competitive pressure from international online booksellers such as Amazon and The Book Depository and the Government has formed the view that that this pressure is likely to intensify. In addition, the technology of.. Read More

IPRIA, parallel imports

IPRIA has organised a seminar in Melbourne on 15 September and Sydney on 16 September to discuss whether freeing parallel imports will make books cheaper. Speakers include both Prof. Fels, who started it all, and Dr Rhonda Smith. Details from here. Has anyone established how far the prices of CDs and computer software fell once the markets for those products became open?

Productivity Commission on parallel imports (books)

The Productivity Commission’s report has been released: Copyright Restrictions on the Parallel Importation of Books Key Points Media Release On a quick view, now they recommend repeal after a 3 year transition period: Whereas the Commission’s draft report had proposed a partial liberalisation of the import restrictions, following further evidence, the final report recommends their repeal, with the industry having a period of three years to adjust before the changes.. Read More