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Australia Businesses

Australians Urged To Spoof IP Addresses For Better Prices 206

angry tapir writes "Choice, a prominent Australian consumer advocacy group, has urged Australians to obfuscate their IP address to avoid geo-blocking and use US forwarding addresses to beat high IT prices. Australia is currently in the middle of parliamentary inquiry into the country's disproportionately high prices for technology. Choice also suggested setting up US iTunes accounts and using surrogate US addresses for forwarding packages from American stores. Choice has noted previously that Australians pay 52 per cent more for digital music downloads on iTunes compared to US users."
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Australians Urged To Spoof IP Addresses For Better Prices

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @05:34AM (#41762155)

    This is how I ended up buying Battlefield 3 premium on Origin for a fraction of the cost (1500 INR (=22 EUR) instead of 50 EUR) by pretending to be from India.

  • Did you hear that? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @05:35AM (#41762157)

    That's the sound of the USTR laughing his way to the bank.

    It's just another hilarious way intellectual property law is used to make money through abusing international borders.

  • by madsdyd ( 228464 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @05:42AM (#41762175)

    I live in Denmark, and recently spent 30 minutes to try and buy an english e-book online.

    Found it at 3 different retailers (US, UK, Australia), that refused to sell it to me (add it to the basket), because of my location.

    Then found it at 2 additional retailers, that allowed me to add it to a basket, then accepted my credit-card information, before refusing to actually sell it to me.

    Then I got sort of mad and decided to break a 15 year old principle on not pirating stuff. Went to google, and had the ebook literally 30 seconds later! 10 seconds later on my device, and I could start reading.

    What on earth are they thinking!

    Oh, and I then later wrote the agent for the writer in question here in Denmark, and in the UK to offer payment. I have not heard a word from the UK agent, and the Danish one just confirmed that they do not sell the english language version of that writer in Denmark as an ebook.

    Fools, really. And, they are probably, as I write this, banging on the door to the parliament, requiering stricter copyright laws.


  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @06:27AM (#41762319) Homepage

    Welcome to what happens when copyright get's out of control. Thank the United States Congress for that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @06:32AM (#41762333)

    And this is the real reason for DRM, not piracy.

  • by jonfr ( 888673 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @06:33AM (#41762341) Homepage

    I have also seen this. But I live in Denmark. Amazon refuses to sell e-books to Denmark from UK. Therefor breaking EU law in this regards (single market). Why this is the case I do not know. But I am sure this is illegal to start with. Regardless who is selling the digital material. This does not only apply to e-books. As Amazon for instances refuses to sell mp3 files to Denmark as well.

    I am also a publisher of e-books. I do not understand this type of stupid. As I for instance I want to sell my e-books everywhere. The sad thing is that I might not have a lot to say about it in the end.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @06:46AM (#41762377)

    Likely they will claim that their hands are tied by the publisher.

    Interestingly most publishers say they are keen on a single market for books [] across the EU:

    The publishers also insisted that they are signing licences with authors allowing them to distribute the books in a said language on a pan-European basis. There is no obstacle in the contract between publishers and retailers which prevent these retailers to sell a German ebook to Greece or a Spanish ebook to the United Kingdom for example.

    BTW the linked article makes it look as though I was wrong in thinking that the free movement of goods and services would make it illegal currently, but moves are afoot to make it so.

  • by 2fuf ( 993808 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @06:55AM (#41762411)

    Yes, it's the reason for DRM and at the same time the reason for piracy ;-)

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:03AM (#41762439) Journal

    Steam does this - although generally not Valve who are good about this but more big big publishers who are sharing the service with Valve. Luckily with US contacts, I can be 'gifted' games at US prices.

    It's disgusting and it's bullshit, if you're willing to sell a game, or a song or a book or fuck even a physical product to an American for X price and I produce the same amount of money for you and I take care of the shipping (or downloading the fucking bits) then frankly, fuck you for trying to charge me more.

    This is much worse for console using folk on PSN and the 360, sure I have a US PSN account but I don't WANT to have to buy PSN 'money' in US format from gift cards just to get games at reasonable prices and then be left with 3$ or 13$ or whatever in 'change' on my account.
    Honestly this bullshit just stops me participating entirely.

    About the only reasonable thing of late is PC parts in Australia, due to the proximity to Asia and the AU$ being strong so long (and of course PC parts, high turnover) for the most part, CPU's, RAM, HDD's and so on are very very close to the US. Mind you if you are picky and want something high end or obscure like high end SAS controllers and stuff like that, sorry buddy, 4x the price.

    So as I started with,... they wonder why we steal shit.... sigh

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @07:22AM (#41762515)

    ...and what you get for cooperating with real criminals; the parasitic music industry who produce nothing of their own, add no value and exploit the musician till they tire of promoting them, then leave them hanging to survive on state fair performances and oldies concerts.
    Sorry to hear they didn't use any lube when gaping Australia.
    Lesson: quit paying for music and starve the bastards out of business or learn to like the cream filling you get.
    This isn't an intellectual property issue, this is about giving the music business back to the musicians and destroying the music industry for good.
    Screw that stupid son of a bitch from "Cracker" and all the other brain dead dupes who think their artificial fame entitles them to fuck it up for everyone else. Kill the industry and music will thrive, musicians will thrive, music will be free and performance will be paid, the truly talented will reap their rewards and the garage bands will go home and practice.

  • by luvirini ( 753157 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:00AM (#41762705)

    Indeed they are, but US is pushing it hard globally, most others involved are just nodding heads.

  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:04AM (#41762725)
    But we are not misrepresenting at all, I am legitimately utilising a VPN Service. I am not saying I am something I am not. It isn't our fault companies are morons and rely on a VPN address to try and work out what country I am from. IP Addressing was never intended for this use.
  • by fatphil ( 181876 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @08:48AM (#41763143) Homepage
    If only someone would take all the massless parts of the product - the 0 and 1 bits, and transport them at next-to-no cost to Australia. Imagine the fossil fuels saved by doing that - these guys would be regarded as heroes. Shame about all the prison time they'd be forced to serve at the hands of the MAFIAA.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @09:16AM (#41763519)
    Not exactly. I do agree that region-coding DRM sucks and should probably be banned. But that's not what's going on here.

    The Australian dollar has gone up about 40% against the US dollar [] in the last 5 years. If you compare game prices in AUD vs USD and subtract ~40%, you'll find the prices are nearly identical.

    International contracts involving two currencies are usually written to cover one year at a fixed exchange rate. Consequently there's a large lag between when a currency goes up, and when prices go down (time constant is on the order of a year). Especially if the seller is a large manufacturer (like Apple), while the buyer represents a small market (Australia). They may not have enough negotiating leverage to get next year's contract changed to better reflect the high rate of currency appreciation. (To be fair, the manufacturer may also be worried that a currency rapidly rising in a few years is a sign that it'll also rapidly fall in coming years. And they don't want to get stuck holding the bag if that happens.)

    Then you have the same thing going on at the retail level, where the retailer (who got ripped off by the manufacturer) now realizes the shoe's on the other foot, and they now have the upper hand in negotiating prices with the individual buyer. So you end up seeing retail prices which reflect the exchange rate 5 years ago, with half the excess going into the pockets of retailers, the other half going into the pockets of the overseas manufacturer.

    The suggestion to buy from overseas is a good one. Typically the currency exchange fees and overseas shipping fees will more than offset any advantage you gain from lower pricing from buying overseas. But when the disparity is this pronounced, its sufficient to exert downward pressure on prices. The last thing you want to be doing in this sort of situation is grudgingly pay the higher prices.
  • by Guru80 ( 1579277 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @09:17AM (#41763527)

    This isn't an intellectual property issue, this is about giving the music business back to the musicians and destroying the music industry for good.

    The musicians don't want to be in control of getting their songs sold or booking performances. They want the "industry". The only one's that don't are because they are already part of the "industry" themselves so they protect it. Face it, music is full of people who would be homeless and broke despite their talent if someone else wasn't there to force feed them marketing, sales, multi-million dollar contracts.

    There is a relative handful that would thrive in the absence of said industry but most would be lost so for that alone we are stuck in the stone age when it comes to the music industry. Don't fool yourself, the vast majority of artists are willing to ride the Titanic to the bottom.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:01AM (#41764053) Homepage Journal

    The musicians don't want to be in control of getting their songs sold or booking performances. They want the "industry".

    Where do you get these "data"? How many musicians do you know personally? I know quite a few, and none of them would touch an RIAA contract with a ten foot pole, despite labels courting them.

    Face it, music is full of people who would be homeless and broke despite their talent

    It's also full of people who are multimillionaires despite their lack of talent. If you're good, you'll get gigs.

    The only one's that don't

    You should have paid more attention in class, son.

  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:33AM (#41764439)

    ok, we'll call it "campaign contributions" instead. better? same deal though, money going to a specific politician with a specific expectation of that politician later.

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