Feeds

ACCC calls for liberalised copyright in Oz

Good sense breaks out

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission is siding with citizens over copyright holders – at least a little bit.

In its submission to an inquiry into this country’s copyright law, the competition regulator suggests that a service such as Optus’ TV Now – banned by the High Court after a bitter battle with the country’s major football codes – isn’t such a bad thing after all.

The Australian Law Reform Commission is conducting the inquiry, with the stated aim of bringing copyright law into line with the digital economy.

Discussing the TV Now case, which concerned the legality of a PVR in the cloud, the ACCC asserts that there’s little difference between a consumer using their own PVR to legally record a free-to-air television program, or engaging a third party to perform the same service for them.

The regulator also suggests that the blunt-instrument of copyright law is a bit of a crutch in the hands of lazy businesses – or, in its more diplomatic language, “copyright can, in some circumstances, act as a disincentive to copyright owners to innovate”.

“Copyright owners have, in some circumstances been slow to adopt market based solutions in favour of enforcement of copyright, where consumer expectations and practices have shifted and have, led to breaches of copyright”, the submission states.

In a statement that’s certain to infuriate rent-seekers copyright holders, the ACCC explicitly states that freedom to make personal copies should be liberalised: “in the absence of persuasive economic evidence of harm to incentives to copyright holders, the copying of legally acquired copyright material for private and domestic use should be more freely permitted.”

It might even be suggested that the competition watchdog isn’t persuaded by the kinds of economic studies routinely trotted out by copyright owners to bolster their own belief that their rents need expanding: “there is a lack of economic research regarding the magnitude of transaction costs of licensing in the Australian context, especially regarding these costs in relation to the digital economy”, the submission states.

The full directory of submissions to the inquiry is here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV
And insists on $5 million insurance per motor against accidents
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.