The strategies of price discrimination engaged in by a number of international publishers, coupled with a lack of competition and restrictions on the ability of consumers to engage in arbitrage, is likely to undermine the legitimacy of copyright law in Australia. By increasing prices beyond a reasonable and fair level, these strategies also undermine the goal of copyright law to enhance access to cultural goods. Enhancing access – and therefore lowering prices – is crucial to enhancing Australia’s innovative capacity and the ability of Australians to experience, learn, act, and grow through cultural works.
We recommend that the committee investigates the following options:
- Repeal parallel importation restrictions;
- Fundamentally reconsider the operation of anti-circumvention law in the context of digital distribution models;
- Prohibit and render unenforceable contractual restrictions on parallel importation;
- Introduce a right of digital resale in Australia.