Copyright law and competition policy: international aspects

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Papadopoulos, Theo (2002) Copyright law and competition policy: international aspects. Agenda, 9 (2). pp. 113-120. ISSN 1447-4735 Online 1322-1833 Print


A recent Federal Court Ruling in a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against a number of record companies, alleging breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA), highlights a growing interconnection between international trade in copyright product, copyright law and competition policy. The breaches were symptomatic of unwillingness on the part of foreign copyright owners (acting through their respective territorial licensees) to accept intra-brand competition brought about by the Copyright Amendment Act (No 2) 1998 that permitted the parallel importation of non-infringing copies of sound recordings. Strategies to retain copyright owner control over vertical distribution included attempts to block both parallel exports and parallel imports. The interplay between the economics and law of trade in copyright product is a complex area that has until recently attracted little attention by economists (Fels, 2001). A range of issues highlighted in the above Federal Court Ruling is explored in this paper. The issues addressed in the paper include the international dimensions of intellectual property law, vertical restraints in the international distribution of copyright product and the implications for domestic competition policy.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
Historical > RFCD Classification > 340000 Economics
Historical > RFCD Classification > 390000 Law, Justice and Law Enforcement
Keywords copyright, law, policy, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), intellectual property law
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