The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'accc'


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's campaigns against DVD region coding has become somewhat of an uphill battle, with the studios not returning their calls. Perhaps they're waiting for Fels' Howard-administration-appointed successor to come in and drop the case, or failing that, for a US-Australian "free trade" agreement which promises to criminalise DVD player modification and enforce region coding in the interests of "free trade":

"The rise in international cartels is a serious matter in the global economy," [Fels] said. "Free trade paradoxically has given rise to cartel behaviour which has required regulatory action. "When you deregulate markets, people are very aware that the way to make money is to create some restriction."

No doubt about it, Fels will be missed. The Australian people will have lost a great advocate. Let's hope that his successor's not a total corporate simp. (via Rocknerd)

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating complaints against EMI over its crippled CDs. The complaint does not claim that copying CDs is a right, but instead argues that the audio provided for PC users is of inferior quality. Though isn't the ACCC now run by a pro-business figure appointed by Howard? I suspect that it may not be as keen to take on big business as it was during the Fels days.

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission calls for criminal sanctions against corporate cartels; big business calls for the ACCC's powers to be curtailed. Now Professor Alan Fels, the head of the ACCC and scourge of corporate monopolists, has announced that he will step down in 2004. How much do you want to bet that his Liberal-appointed replacement will be firmly in the pocket of Big Business, and that we will see a new laissez-faire, pro-corporate ACCC which is about as much of a watchdog as George W. Bush's pro-oil Environment Protection Agency?

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Sony sues to ban PlayStation mod chips in Australia (as they have done successfully in the UK), Allan Fels and the ACCC stand up to them, in the interests of consumer choice (specifically, the right to play imported titles). Bravo, ACCC.

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