[Linux-aus] Petition draft text: No DMCA blanket anti-circumvention law in Australia!

Glen Turner glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Wed Jun 7 11:06:02 UTC 2006

Sridhar Dhanapalan wrote:
> On Tuesday 06 June 2006 13:14, jason king <pizza at netspace.net.au> wrote:
>>> This also means that we must be able to create, buy and sell devices or
>>> services to do these things: region-free DVD players, and other
>> wasn't region coding meant to be illegal due to UN resolutions , or
>> australian law? If it is, its worth explicitly pointing this out in a
>> petition.
> I believe that the ACCC ruled that region encoding was an anti-competitive 
> practice, since it disallowed the viewing of foreign DVDs on localised 
> (Region 4) players. Consequently, many DVD players sold in Australia are 
> either regionless (Region 0) or are easily unlocked.
> Incidentally, the same stance was taken in Australia in regards to modchips 
> for games consoles (most notably the PlayStation 2). The modchips were 
> determined to be legal since they could be used to play games legitimately 
> purchased overseas.

But the ACCC is a government regulator.  It too has to argue
in court.  The ruling you want is Sony v Stevens which went
all the way to the High Court.

The High Court ruled that the primary function defeated by
the modchip was to implement geographic price discrimination,
not to implement a copyright technical protection measure.
So the anti-circumvention provisions of the copyright act
were irrelevant.

That ruling has obvious implications for other region coding
schemes, such as that used for DVDs.  Note that if a scheme
doesn't differ by geography then the technical protection
mechanism clauses of the copyright law remains relevant.
So we are fortunate that BluRay has decided upon region coding.

There are lots of powerful bodies none too pleased about this
rather innovative thinking by the court.


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