Submission to the Australian Inquiry into IT Pricing

Paula Dootson and I have written a submission to the Inquiry into IT Pricing (#FairIT4Oz). The submission draws on Paula’s research into consumer behaviour. We argue that:

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.

Read the full submission here (PDF).