Thursday, March 02, 2006

Freedom to the Regions!

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs today released its report on the Review of Technological Protection Measures Exceptions. This was a review of the access controls some copyright owners place on copyrighted materials in light of the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement.

The significant finding was that region coding be not supported. From the press release:
"The Committee was not persuaded that region coding is essential for piracy prevention or that it is a genuine copyright protection,” Mr Slipper said. “Nor is the Committee interested in further inhibiting the ability of people to enjoy lawfully acquired copyright material.” “The Committee has therefore concluded that the unauthorised circumvention of region coding TPMs should not attract liability under the new scheme."

This is great news. I have always thought that region-coding of DVDs and computer games was taking copyright too far and allowing forms of price discrimination unrelated to efficiencies and competition. Here is a link to a paper by Emily Dunt, Stephen King and I on DVDs. Here also is a link to my submission to the review.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

In any case region coding was legally dead afteer Stevens v Sony unless the government specifically provided for it. The only question was as to circumvention: ie was it permissible to circumvent a TPM that also inhibited copyright infringement solely to overcome the region coding?

On the strength of Stevens, I think certainly so.