Geoblocking: Australian consumers not breaching copyright by circumventing with VPN, says Govt agency

Australian consumers should be able to legally circumvent geoblocking restrictions that prevent them from using foreign online streaming services like US Netflix, according to the Productivity Commission.In a draft report that urges a major overhaul of intellectual property laws, the commission found that geoblocking technology is “pervasive” and means Australians are offered a lower level of digital services at a higher price. see:Lift geoblocking as ‘frustration’ drives illegal downloads, Productivity Commission finds
Australia’s intellectual property system has swung too far in favour of rights holders at users’ expense, a new report has found, with most online infringement driven by “sheer frustration” at poor access.In its draft report on the state of intellectual property in Australia, the Productivity Commission said the current system was unbalanced, prioritising the interests of “vocal rights holders and influential IP exporting nations” over those of consumers and taxpayers. Commission’s recommendations on IP reform likely to be lost in election haze
The Productivity Commission aspires to act as the Government’s economic conscience, providing advice that from a neoliberal mindset is rational, but may be politically inconvenient. The Commission has called for a fundamental reworking of Australia’s intellectual property (IP) regime in its 601 page draft Intellectual Property Arrangements report.The draft is sure to delight some readers, dismay others, remind us of identical recommendations over the past decade and allow the Government to defer hard decisions until well after the election. It features arguments and recommendations of direct relevance to scholars and university administrators. It should provoke a considered response from anyone interested in economic sovereignty, social justice and industry development. Salient recommendations, alas, are likely to be still-born.

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