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Australian Court Doubles CD Importers' Fines 258

Posted by michael
from the drop-in-the-bucket dept.
anti-fsck writes "Australia's Full Federal Court today upheld a lower court's decision that music labels Warner Music and Universal Music had engaged in anti-competitive practices in the .au CD market by threatening retailers who imported cheaper CDs. The court also doubled the labels' fine - and the fines for senior label executives - to more than $A2 million. w00, cheap CDs at last? Now if we can only get US-zoned DVDs legalised as well ..." Another reader notes that the U.S. government is busy trying to get Australia to change its laws to increase the profits of U.S. record companies.
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Australian Court Doubles CD Importers' Fines

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  • The real story? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by henbane (663769) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:00AM (#6763993)
    I think what this really should have mentioned more prominently is the second story. Talk about imperialist running dogs of the capitalist pig regime. - "Hey there, want a trade agreement? Not unless you bow down and worship the god of copyright exactly like we do"
    • Re:The real story? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Did you read the article? Thought not.

      Under heavy lobbying from the US entertainment and software industries, the Office of the US Trade Representative had listed the harmonisation of copyright legislation among issues to be raised with Australian negotiators for the Free Trade Agreement. But the head of the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, Undersecretary Grant Aldonas, said America would not be pushing too hard on intellectual property during the current negotiations.
      • Re:The real story? (Score:2, Informative)

        by nodrama (73489)
        Did you read the article (or just the 1st sentence)? Thought not.

        "Under heavy lobbying from the US entertainment and software industries"

        "The US Trade Representative warned parallel importation had led to increasing piracy of DVDs and VCDs."

        "The report also highlighted the "relatively low priority" assigned by Australian state and federal police to the enforcement of copyright law"

        "He said getting an immediate agreement in place on intellectual property "might be a bridge too far". "

        Last sentence: "The
        • Re:The real story? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BrokenHalo (565198)
          This bickering has been going on for years now, and it seems to most of us that even if the recording companies do finally get bitch-slapped in the highest courts, they will find a way of keeping prices up.

          Given that the Australian Federal government has a long record of rolling over to corporate interests, I can't see them upholding the rights of the man in the street, somehow.

          Pretty well summed up by that nice quote from Maynard Keynes to the effect that "capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of

    • "Hey there, want a trade agreement? Not unless you bow down and worship the god of copyright exactly like we do"
      What I find interesting is that part of the trade agreements is to agree to uphold each others copyrights and the fact that the USA has eased up on the requirements for getting a copyright. This would only serve to bring more revenue to the USA in the long run.
    • If you speak up again, Trotskyite, you will be sent to the gulag for crimes against the state.
  • by Trigun (685027) <evil@evilempire.a[ ]cx ['th.' in gap]> on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:01AM (#6764000)
    U.S. government is busy trying to get Australia to change its laws to increase the profits of U.S. record companies.

    Let the record companies deal with it, not the government of another country.

    Yeah, globalization is a bitch. Deal.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:07AM (#6764037)

      Americans only like free markets and capitalism when it works in their favor. When it doesn't, they enjoy getting their government meddling with tolls and taxes and what not.

      They still have steel-tolls, right?

      They're not capitalist, they're as socialist as the rest of us (in Europe) -- it's just that they're either too stupid to see it, or in denial.

      • Funniest thing is that the cheap CDs were imported from china most probably, which is certainly not capitalist.
      • by gidds (56397) <slashdot AT gidds DOT me DOT uk> on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:51AM (#6764368) Homepage
        they're as socialist as the rest of us

        [fx: reads downthread] Oh dear... The problem here is that different people see different things when they read. When you or I read 'socialist', we see someone who wants the community as a whole owning and controlling industry, and the social and political organisation that goes along with it. Or something along those lines.

        But when many Yanks read 'socialist', they seem to see "Filthy! Subversive! Pinko! Dirty! Commie! Bastard! Atheist! Traitor! Die! Die! Die!" instead. Which kind of makes informed political debate rather difficult.

      • by emil (695) on Friday August 22, 2003 @10:16AM (#6764612) Homepage

        I am a U.S. Citizen, and I would like nothing more than to see all members of the RIAA and the MPAA dry up and blow away. I am certainly not alone in this view.

        I look upon the recent financial woes of many of these corporations with schadenfreude - pleasure at the woes of another.

        These organizations are making the US into a police state. They have orchistrated a coordinated attack upon our Bill of Rights, and they make a mockery of copyright law.

        That they are suffering now is no great surprise. May it continue.

      • Bah! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ackthpt (218170) *
        Yeah, I'd post anonymously, too, if I were going to belch a flame like that.

        Americans only like free markets and capitalism when it works in their favor.

        The fact is some of us yanks like to see the these goons get sorted out. There's stuff that costs absurd amounts, or you can't even get in the US, thanks to restrictions on importing bought to us by the very same sphere of influence. They like to get money whether things are coming or going.

        Some people like to refer to them as F.O.B. (friends of Bush)

      • Let's not forget softwood lumber tariffs, which have cost the Canadian lumber industry thousands of jobs.
    • Well, the US gov. is there to do anything possible to advantage the US citizens who vote for this gov...

      If there is more money for American companies then there is more wealth for the U.S.

      Since the U.S. makes their laws the laws of the whole world, the whole world should be allowed to vote in the U.S.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:14AM (#6764098)
      Ok, I RTFA, and I can't come to the same conclusion as our illustrious slashdot editor:

      the U.S. government is busy trying to get Australia to change its laws to increase the profits of U.S. record companies.

      The very first sentence in the linked article says:

      US TRADE officials have backed off from a tough line on music, movie and software piracy, admitting that shoehorning Australia into a copyright regime based on criminal law may be "a bridge too far".

      ...but this is /. and I guess it's easier to just take a comment from Michael for granted and just react to that, huh?

      Under heavy lobbying from the US entertainment and software industries, the Office of the US Trade Representative had listed the harmonisation of copyright legislation among issues to be raised with Australian negotiators for the Free Trade Agreement. But the head of the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, Undersecretary Grant Aldonas, said America would not be pushing too hard on intellectual property during the current negotiations.

      Yeah, the *IAA pushed hard, the US govt doesn't seem to be doing too much though.

      • but sometimes a softer approach works, the less this is "news" the better.

        A few weeks ago I heard that they (ie the American government) were trying to get the Australian content quotas on our radio stations reduced under the banner of "free trade".

        Of course that's total garbage. Our airwaves are a national resource and it is entirely reasonable to ensure they are exploited for the national good. People can't just waltz in from anywhere and exploit our mineral or land and the airwaves shouldn't be any d
    • Ah, but they are dealing with it, in the only way they know how to do anything. Buying legislation.
    • The free market idea is working well I believe. Perhaps at the expense of the big record labels and ultimately the big movie labels of the US.

      The problem they have encountered is that their profit margin is high enough in the US that they believe that it should be that high elsewhere in the world. This is regardless of the fact that the artists they are promoting tend to suck these days.

      I honestly believe that if they spent less money on lawyers, and less money on promoting the artist of the month, and in
    • It would be great if it worked that way. Unfortunately, the US government is too deep in bed with large companies that give them a lot of money (and yet taxes keep going up!) to "sway" their campaigns. Unfortunately, the gov't is far too corrupt: greedy and power-hungry.

      How does it change? By voting incumbants out of office. Hopefully a few fresh changes of the various branches will help things.

  • Being depressing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PurpleWizard (643191) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:03AM (#6764009)
    but not defeatist.

    This is just a battle slowing the seemingly inevitable unless changes that are more fundamental are made. It is just part of the trend like DRM, software patents making it into Europe and the like...

    What's the real solution to the continual move of power to corporations? Or is it best we all just roll over and take it like good domestic livestock?

    • Re:Being depressing (Score:5, Informative)

      by boogy nightmare (207669) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:10AM (#6764069) Homepage
      Software patents have not yet made it in to Europe for fear of it being like the US, in fact all over europe at the moment there are protests to software copyright and patents.

      In fact the majority of the EU doesn't actually want it and a lot of the EMP's are fighting to have it chucked out.

      S
    • What is depressing about this?

      The RIAA will have to pay double fines for their past abuse. This is good news.

      The RIAA will raise dues to member companies. Good. Make those suckers pay.

      The member companies will in turn raise CD prices to pay those fines.

      The net effect: you will pay more on CD's in order to correct for having paid too much on CD's in the past. It's good news for everyone.
    • Buy guns. No, I'm really serious. You should own at least a pistol and rifle per person in your family. And a fair bit of ammo.
      I certainly don't recommend an armed insurrection yet, but one day it may come, and an armed population ready to rise up and defend their rights against an oppressive group in control, be it the govt. or corporations.
      And while you wait for the revolution to start, try to stave it off by writing letters/email/fax to govt. officials, friends and the corporations you believe are acti
  • by djeaux (620938) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:04AM (#6764015) Homepage Journal
    First, a $2 million fine is chump change for Warner and Universal.

    Second, although the Australian court decision is couched in the guise of "copyright law," it's no different in effect from protective tariffs or import taxes.

    This raises the question why Australia didn't just enact an import tariff on compact discs equivalent to 100% of the price of an Australian-made CD.

  • by Flingles (698457) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:06AM (#6764031) Journal
    In the words of taco-man

    "I haven't bought a cd since 1999. Not because I download songs, but quite frankly RIAA, your music sucks donkey balls.
  • US-encoded DVDs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LehiNephi (695428) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:07AM (#6764042) Journal
    Get US-encoded DVD's? Does the submitter mean getting those DVD's in Australia, or does he mean getting them to legally play in Australia.

    If the first, well....fat chance. The guys running those publishing companies have their heads in a tight, dark place.

    If the second, just ax the region encoding on your DVD player.
    • Re:US-encoded DVDs? (Score:5, Informative)

      by muffen (321442) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:29AM (#6764210)
      Get US-encoded DVD's? Does the submitter mean getting those DVD's in Australia ... well....fat chance.

      Is there a law in place in Australia against importing Region 1 DVDs???

      I understand that there are trade-barriers in place, so that you have to pay VAT on the DVD's. But is there a law that actually states that you cannot import region 1 DVDs?

      Last I checked, several online retailers in the US and Canada are willing to ship their DVD's worldwide. DVDBoxOffice [dvdboxoffice.com] will even package them one by one so you don't have to pay VAT (when shipping to Europe atleast). Play [play.com] is based in the UK, and they sell region 1 DVDs and ship worldwide.

      In regards to the region protection in DVDplayers.. well.. it's a joke. I think I could solder a chip into one of those players in my sleep (I know some are harder etc). On top of that, some cheap players I've come across had a hidden menu where you could simply change the region. So, I don't see how it would be difficult to get Region 1 DVD's in Australia, or any other western country for that matter.
      • I've never seen anyone adequately explain why but there are indeed cases where people get done for parallel importing DVDs for resale [eyo.com.au].

        I can understand why it might be a breach of the Classification act as what you are selling may not have passed through the required rating procedure.

        But I can't understand how the sale of something can be a breach of copyright.
      • In regards to the region protection in DVDplayers.. well.. it's a joke. I think I could solder a chip into one of those players in my sleep

        Well, here in the US, I was able to buy a DVD player that has a hidden menu option to change the region code. And before anyone complains that the manufacturers don't care about changes from region 1, it also supports PAL and has a SCART connector on the back, so it was clearly designed with european markets in mind.
    • Get US-encoded DVD's? Does the submitter mean getting those DVD's in Australia [...] fat chance.

      There's no law against selling them here, and many niche stores (the same sort of places that sell roleplaying games and comic books) sell them openly - as in big friggin' signs saying "Region 1, NTSC."

      The mainstream stores don't sell them, because (a) the 'mainstream' titles are all available as Region 4 (b) it's too much trouble dealing with all the people who'd return titles complaining "it doesn't work?"

  • by IFF123 (679162) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:08AM (#6764045)
    $A2 million fine?
    -- must be some computer friendly judge to pass the fine in hex notation.
  • by gabrieltss (64078) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:08AM (#6764050)
    Is it me or is the U.S. the ONLY country not "Beating Back" the abusiveness of it's own corporations and government. (This should get me tag as a terrorist by saying this, in a country were supposedly we have a 1st amendment right to freedom of speech!).

    Yes I do live in the U.S., yes I do think it is corrupt from the top levels of our goverment down to the corporations.

    It seems just about every other country in the world is smacking the U.S. corporations that are trying to screw everyone, but for some strange reason WE CAN'T!

    Look what kind of crap we are having to fight:

    1) SCO - 'nuff said!
    2) MPAA/RIAA - take away our rights to fair use, and to mayn other things to list.
    3) Our Goverment - Took away our 4th amendment with the Patiriot act and allow law enforcement agencies free reign in what they do. All in the name of "terrorism".

    What they don't want you to know is that our damn goverment KNEW about 911 on August 20th. THe Israil (sp?) Massad warned our governemt about a terrorist threat and of massive amounts of terrorists (about 200 I belive) comming into this country. There was even an article about it in the Jeruselum Post's website [jpost.com] not long after 911. (Any of our Israli brothers want to confirm this?)
    That's right your own government let it happen, why you say??? Think about what they have been able to do with that "terrorist threat" that they are using to try and scare us with. The patriot act, now talk of the patriot act II. Patriot Act - that is a damn slap in the face to the TRUE patriots that gave their lives for this country to be what it is today! I being former military am ASHAMED of our government right now!

    • How is the parent insightful? He starts to talk about the topic and then degrades into a "we knew about the 9/11 attacks before they happened" conspiracy theory. No your not a terrorist but you should keep it on-topic.
    • I being former military am ASHAMED of our government right now!

      Well, you're not the only american who's ashamed of his goverment. I hear it plenty of times. But sadly, there ARE goverments that bend over massively to US goverment demands. Back here in the NL, our prime minister is a prime example of being a bit too much pro-US, usually agreeing on matters before they are even officially proposed to our goverment by the US goverment. There are officials that are even worse, who I suspect of being not

    • What they don't want you to know is that our damn goverment KNEW about 911 on August 20th. THe Israil (sp?) Massad warned our governemt about a terrorist threat and of massive amounts of terrorists (about 200 I belive) comming into this country. There was even an article about it in the Jeruselum Post's website not long after 911. (Any of our Israli brothers want to confirm this?)

      I remember several Rusian articale THAT August (2001) saying that Russian special intelligence forces sent to FBI a report abou

    • This has precisely shit to do with the MPAA/RIAA and Australian imports. Mods, the "offtopic" selection isn't always a bad thing.

  • by tagishsimon (175038) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:09AM (#6764061) Homepage
    Who'd have thought? CDs honor the traditional price elacticity of demand for commodity goods: don't rip off your punters and they'll buy your product.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/315 8767.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • Definately - screw them for everything they're worth - they've been doing it to the rest of the planet (esp. the US) for years. All the real music is on independent label anyway....
    • All the real music is on independent label anyway....

      If that's the case, why don't people buy more of the independent labels? Oh, obviously you can differentiate between "real" music while the masses can't. I hate this elitest crap.

      The RIAA is digging their own graves around the world. If they don't change, people will get tired of them. Black market is already bigger in most countries. But don't think the masses don't like their music. Sure, there are many people that don't like it and many of

  • by Pig Hogger (10379)
    1 import CDs
    2 gouge consumers
    3 coerce competitors
    4 ???
    5 coerce governments
    6 PROFIT!!!!

    Subverting governments is a typically anglo-saxon way of doing "business". In the late 1700's, a britshit brewer named Molson moved into newly-conquered France, and upon seeing that the cider-drinking french natives were eschewing his beet, simply had the governor outlaw cider-making.
    Being too stupid to adapt to the market by making cider, he had the market adapt to him.
    200 years later, his beer still tastes like h

    • by Talthane (699885) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:27AM (#6764201)

      So you would be referring to the man who in 1786 founded Molson's beer in Canada, having emigrated from Britain where cider is so common that the West Country (south-west) in particular is known as one of the great cider-making places in the world, and is only peripherally - not to mention frequently reluctantly - close to France, a country that is known mainly for its wines and champagne?

      I think your geography's a bit off, as is your history of liquor (hmm...perhaps the two are related)...

      Oh, and we didn't conquer France in 1786 - they were busy winding up to chop a lot of people's heads off. A suitable fate for SCO executives, perhaps.

  • by vergil (153818) <vergilb&gmail,com> on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:12AM (#6764091) Homepage Journal
    I've always found it intriguing how actions on behalf of the US Trade Representative [ustr.gov] against parallel importation (a.k.a. "the gray market") flies in the face of the current U.S. administration's professed loyalty to the merits of a global "free market."

    In my opinion, a thriving gray market -- where consumers seek out cheaper products/services in other districts/countries -- is evidence of a healthy, competitive global economy.



    Sincerely,

    Vergil

    • I agree Vergil. Oh, and by the way, you're sacked, we're outsourcing your job to India.

      I do happen to actually agree with you, but let's not pretend that globalisation is as simple as dropping trade barriers and allowing people to buy and sell where they choose. Globalisation changes peoples lives and many people don't want their lives changed. Long term, it's for the better (or that's the theory), but there is, for some, a pretty painful short term we have to try hard to minimise.
    • What the current administration is seeking is not free markets. A free trade agreement is about 1 sentence long. Here's a sample:

      "Your country's people may freely take goods and services not subsidized trough taxes and bring them into our nation to sell to anyone at any price they are willing to pay, and our people may do the same in your nation."

      Anything with tens of thousands of pages of regulations and restrictions, like the WTO/GATT, is not free trade. It's managed trade. Basically the current (and pr
  • by lobsterGun (415085) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:12AM (#6764093)
    ...to more than $A2 million


    You know they're serious when they have to make up new numbers to describe the amount of the fine!

    Either that or they fined them in hex dollars (works out to $162 million).
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:15AM (#6764101)
    The WTO is supposed to support free trade and globalization. All sorts of countries are behind it, yet it hasn't bestirred itself to do anything about the most blantant anti-world market move ever made: region encoding on DVDs and videogames. Why can studios divide market? Why can't I buy Japanese games and play them in the US?

    Well, I guess the answer is obvious. But it irks me that everyone bought into international trade organizations that are so clearly biased.

    By the way, does this price-fixing crap remind anyone else of a similar US case? Did members of the industry get personally fined, or were they protected behind the corporate veil? Good thing Australia's got its act together. At least someone does.
  • Free Trade (Score:5, Informative)

    by muzzmac (554127) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:16AM (#6764106)
    One of the Big Deals in Australian politics is what is called "Free Trade". John Howard (Our Prime Minister) seems prepared to sell his soul to get "free trade" with the US.

    What does free trade mean?

    Basically having the US not protect its own farmers and let Aussie produce compete on an even footing with US produce.

    Problem is. The US government will never play in the important markets. Beef. No chance. Wheat, yeah right.

    Lamb. (The US has no real lamb market or demand) OK Free trade on Lamb. Oh and by the way. To get that you need to strengthen your Intellectual Property laws.

    Well Mr Howard being Bush fanboy #2 thinks that's a great idea.

    Aussie farmers are pretty ambivalent to the whole deal. No free trade basically means we now have one of the best performing farm systems there is.

    Oh check this out:

    http://www.austa.net/pdf/chapter4.pdf

    From within:

    US Interest in Australias position:

    - Restrict parallel importing of recorded music and branded goods
    - Concern about laws concerning decompilation of software
    - Concern about the adequacy of test data for pharamcueticals.
    - Concern that civil rather than criminal remedies are favoured for abuse of copyright or music.

    And we are going to sell that to sell a few friggin' sheep that Americans don't eat anyway.

    Idiots.
  • by xThinkx (680615) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:18AM (#6764126) Homepage
    "Damn, now we have to buy off ANOTHER government, time to sue more file sharers and blame it on them"
  • by artg (24127) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:24AM (#6764177)

    Hardly.
    More expensive CDs to pay for the fine, I'd have thought.

  • TCO rather TCP (Score:4, Informative)

    by segment (695309) <sil@NOSpam.politrix.org> on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:24AM (#6764179) Homepage Journal

    Forget the total cost of ownership here, anyone ever take a look at the total cost of production of cd's and dvd's and the markups on them. While cassettes can be rather costly, and often sell for like typically 7.99 - 14.99, cd's and dvd's are made for peanuts .69 - 4.99 yet they sell for anywhere from 9.99 - * What a monopoly.

    Personally I could care less what one court says since another will go back and reverse and vice versa, but some of the record companies should tone down their bitching considering they're sticking it to the consumer %99 of the times. It's about time P2P came to bite them in the ass and give them a wake up call, and now hopefully some of the courts will too

  • I can hear... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by o'reor (581921) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:25AM (#6764182) Journal
    ...the WTO/Free Trade/Free Market zealots moaning : "Yeah, okay, but these are only exceptions, see, the free market always corrects this kind of abuse by itself". The same lame excuses we heard about Enron.

    I say, if it weren't for Australian justice and anti-trust regulations, those two corporations would still be ripping off consumers. Yet, most of our countries are engaged in WTO negotiations which compell countries to get rid of those "embarrassing regulations" in the name of so-called "competition" and "fairness". I'm not saying we need more regulations; just that the existing ones need to be upheld.

    Do you see where "competition" stands when corporations agree on pricing to rip off their consumers? What about "fairness" if the existing regulations are cancelled ?
    (Robot slams door open:)
    IP droid: `By using the words "fairness" and "competition", you just infringed on Trademark #AE6521 by corporation SueMyAss Inc. We'll see you in court, sir.'

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Parallel imports are forbidden under US Customs regulations as well, with an exemption for travelers returning with single items that may infringe on a US trademark or copyright.
    A lot of small time record distributors routinely ignore this regulation and get cease-and-desist orders or worse when the US record company catches up with them.
    To legally make an commercial importation of a sound recording that is already owned or licensed in the USA you must have the permission of the company that currently holds
  • by donscarletti (569232) on Friday August 22, 2003 @09:44AM (#6764304)
    The thing about Australia is that we have little to be patriotic with, our flag is unrecognisable to most of the world, our national anthem is unknown to most Australians, everyone seems to think our capital is Sydney, our soccer team can never make it to the world cup, Fosters is synonomous with us everywhere outside Austalia but is undrinkable to most Australians, our new submarines are noisy, Paul Hogan seems to be mistaken sometimes for a national ambasitor, our Prime Minister has the charisma of a block of wood, and one of the most popular politicians in recent history was just locked up for three years because she was too stupid to understand our electoral funding laws.

    The only thing we have to be proud of is our judicial system, the guys who blocked the Gordon below Franklin damn even though blocking it was COMPLETELY unconstitutional it was just right, the guys who locked up Pauline Hanson, the guys who fined those record labels, the guys who don't give a DAMN about what the big guys say about what you can and can't do with your own stuff. They make me proud to be an Australian,

    Even though in Australia it is unpatriotic to be patriotic (or at least you are judged to be a weeny if you are). It is times like this when I would like to press my hand to my chest, salute our crappy, halfarsely designed flag, scull my VB (not Fosters, YUCK!) and sing "Advance Australia Fair" at the top of my voice (even though it was written by white supremists, at least it is not about a suicidal sheep duffer).

    • Tsk. Silly moderators. This should be +5 funny. I know non-Australians have difficulty with the extreme dryness of decent beer and Australian wit, but surely there's some Kiwis out there who can lend us your race horse. Even if we put him up in a crowded house which we'll claim to have built.
  • As the text clearly indicates, it was the labels' fine that was doubled, not the importers'.

    (As Emily Litella would have said, "That's quite different, isn't it?")

  • I always thought that meant changing them both to be the same thing not us adopting US laws.
  • by oboeaaron (595536)
    If you like classical, and want to support a record company that "gets it," check out Naxos (www.naxos.com). They cover both standard and exotic repertoire; many pieces in their catalog are not available anywhere else. The website has full-length streams of their recordings (WMP format, unfortunately). Best of all, they are unaffiliated with the RIAA and all their CDs are $7.99USD or lower. I'm not affiliated in any way with them, just a satisfied customer who wants to see them flourish.
  • ummm dudes (Score:3, Informative)

    by plastik55 (218435) on Friday August 22, 2003 @11:47AM (#6765553) Homepage
    The headline says the opposite of what the article says.

    Let me guess, we have people who are PAID to edit here?
  • ACCC et al.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by jamesjw (213986) on Friday August 22, 2003 @01:02PM (#6766403) Homepage
    The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Comission) http://www.accc.gov.au [accc.gov.au] has been lobbying for the right of DVD and Sony Playstation owners to import discs from other regions, see: ACCC Defends the Rights of Playstation Owners [203.6.251.7]

    I know that in the case of Playstation discs, Sony won a case recently that basically has made modding Playstations in Australia for playing any kind of disc (pirate or import) illegal.
    But the DVD Region code issue has been in the press here alot, IANAL but I believe due to the actions of the ACCC, Multi region DVD players here are quite common in the retail market to give consumers choice, I guess its up to the DVD Player manifacturer weather they include the feature or not.

    Personally my PHILIPS DVD-707 is modded All region from the remote and I own a number of Region 1 titles that just arent available locally here.
    I'm all for import CD's too, alot of Japanese releases come with extra tracks and collectors packaging that if imports were banned, we'd never get to see (legally).


    To a point as a consumer, I dont mind if the disc costs me the same as here or even a bit extra, but we should get the choice to buy the product we want, expecially if the product offers features not included on the domestic release.

    Jim.
  • by ahacop@wmuc.umd.edu (63340) on Friday August 22, 2003 @02:13PM (#6767117)
    I find it rather odd that imported CDs are cheaper in Australia.

    I run an independent record label and I get my CDs manufactured in Australia precisely because it is CHEAPER for me to do so!
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) on Friday August 22, 2003 @02:54PM (#6767485) Journal
    "Mr Aldonis' comments came despite the US raising concerns about parallel importation legislation in its 2003 Foreign Trade Barriers report. Parallel importation permits the importation of a product by a person other than the local authorised distributor.

    The US Trade Representative warned parallel importation had led to increasing piracy of DVDs and VCDs."

    The US maintains that importing identical commerical copies of music or video from another country is equivalent to piracy? What balderdash.

    To put this is perspective, if a company in China found a better deal on wheat in the Ukraine than what their "authorised distrubutor" of American wheat in China could offer them, then that company engaged in wheat piracy?

    I am of the mistaken belief that free trade was meant to foster GLOBAL trade, not regional cartels.

    Authorised Distributor is now another term for MONOPOLY. What a hypocrital nation the US has become.

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