Submission to the Australian Government’s Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper

Angel, Eleanor, Button-Sloan, Alex, Dodemont, Alicia, Dootson, Paula , Parvez, Shereen, Price, Jessica, Suzor, Nicolas, & Wood, Suzannah (2014) Submission to the Australian Government’s Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper. Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

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Now is not the time to increase the strength of copyright law. Copyright law is facing a crisis of legitimacy: consumers increasingly appear to doubt its moral weight. To a large extent, this can be traced to the fact that Australian consumers do not believe they are being treated fairly by (predominantly US-based) copyright producers and distributors. Compared to their overseas peers, Australian consumers pay much more for access to books, films, television, and computer games, and are often subjected to long delays before material is available in Australia. Our research shows that this perceived unfairness increases the willingness of Australian consumers to seek out alternative distribution channels. Put simply, the failure of content distributors to meet consumer demand in Australia is a leading factor in copyright infringement.

This submission argues that the best strategy to reduce copyright infringement in Australia, at the present time, is for distributors to focus on providing timely, affordable, convenient and fair access to copyright goods. Until this is done, the prevalence of copyright infringement in Australia should be seen as essentially a market problem, rather than a legal one. The Australian Government, meanwhile, should address the recommendations of the IT Pricing Report as a matter a priority. As a first step, the Government should urgently consider repealing the IP exception to competition law in s 51(3), as recommended by the Ergas committee, the IT Pricing report, and the ALRC. This change alone may go a long way to enhancing the efficiency of the copyright market in Australia.

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ID Code: 78480
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology
Keywords: Copyright, Submission, "Discussion Paper", Brandis, Government
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Deposited On: 10 Nov 2014 00:23
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015 22:11

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