Productivity Commission: Australia’s intellectual property system has lost sight of users

The Australian Productivity Commission slams our copyright and patent laws

Australian Governments have been obsessed with introducing new draconian laws to protect intellectual property rights, especially copyright. However, it seems our Government’s have been captured by rights holders and have completely lost sight of the public interest and economic development that is needed to support the legitimacy of these laws.

Slamming Australia’s laws, the Productivity Commission has called that “action must be taken to rebalance Australia’s intellectual property (IP) arrangements”.

“A good IP system balances the interests of rights holders and users, but Australia’s system has swung too far in favour of vocal rights holders and influential IP exporting nations“.

So, not only have our politicians been captured by the interests of rights holders, they’ve been captured by foreign interests at the expense of Australians.

“No matter how you measure it, Australia overwhelmingly imports more IP than it exports — and this gap is widening. Most of the profits from excessive IP rights flow offshore, while Australian consumers and taxpayers are left to pick up the tab,” said Commissioner Karen Chester.

That’s a damning assessment of our laws and the Attorney-General who has been focussed not on reforming IP laws, but being a lickspittle to foreign interests to introduce draconian enforcement laws.

“Many of Australia’s IP arrangements are locked-in by trade agreements, frustrating much needed change. Despite these constraints, the Commission has identified a workable bundle of reforms.”

“Copyright is important for rewarding creative endeavour. But in Australia, it is more a case of ‘copy(not)right’. Copyright is pervasive, affecting everyone from hip hop artists sampling music, school children watching a documentary in class, libraries and museums preserving Australia’s history, to innovative researchers accessing databases for data mining.”

“Copyright protection lasts too long — a book written today by an author who lives for another 50 years will be protected until 2136” , says the Commission.

Wow, why does an artist need a artificially constructed legal right extending 70 years after his or her death?

“Surveys reveal much online copyright infringement is out of sheer frustration from poor access. The best antidote to copyright infringement is accessible and competitively priced online content, not draconian penalties and big brother enforcement.”

Again, that’s a damning indictment of the Attorney-General’s policy priorities over the last few years.  Attorney-General George Brandis has been obsessed with new laws to punish users rather than addressing the policy problems caused by an out of whack IP system.

“Rights holders and their intermediaries need to do more to deliver timely and accessible content. The Government should also make clear that Australians should be able to circumvent geoblocking technology,” said Commissioner Karen Chester.

While former communications Minister and current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated our copyright laws do not prohibit VPNs to circumvent geoblocks, the Commission has found our laws should expressly make this clear.

The benefits of IP reform would be far reaching.

“True innovation and creativity will be rewarded, while consumers will have better access to new and cheaper goods and services. Australian firms won’t have to engage in costly workarounds that hinder follow-on innovation,” Commissioner Jonathan Coppel said.

The Commission is inviting submissions on the draft report by 3 June 2016 and will hold public hearings in June.

You can make a submission here:


How to unblock and watch U.S. Netflix on your iPhone/iPad from outside the United States – step by step guide

Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch Netflix on your iPhone because it is blocked? Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking Netflix on your Apple iPhone.

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Do you live outside the United States and can’t watch the better U.S. version of Netflix on your iPhone or iPad because it is blocked? Read on for this step by step guide to unblocking the larger U.S. Netflix library for your Apple iPhone or iPad.

1. Unblock geoblocking with a free trial service 

First, you will need to sign up to a DNS unblocking service to trick your iPhone/iPad and Netflix that you are located in the United States when you are actually located in another country. These DNS unblocking services get around the geoblocks used by Netflix.

Don’t worry, you can use a 7 day free trial (without any sign-up and no credit card) to check first that you can get it working before you hand over any payment details.

Go to Unlocator and use their free trial unblocking service and follow their iPhone specific instructions.  Just click here to get started setting up your iPhone for Netflix.

2. Once you have enabled the Unlocator service, then open “Settings” on your iPhone/iPad.

3. Select Wi-Fi

4. Press the blue arrow located on the right of the router you are connected to (i.e. your home’s internet wi-fi service).

5. Under “DNS” input these numbers:,

6. Press Wi-Fi to go back

7. Restart your iPhone by pressing and holding home key and then power button, holding both until iPhone shuts down and restarts

8. Go to Apple app store and find and install the Netflix app

If the Netflix app you need is not available in your local iPhone app store you need to change to the US app store in order to install it. Please follow the following steps to get the US app store on your iPhone.

9. How to Get the US edition of the Apple App Store on Your iOS (iPhone or iPad) Device

Just follow these Apple instructions but select the US versions instead of your local country versions.

Your done! Sign up for a Netflix free trial and start watching Netflix! The Unlocator service unblocks over 175 other geoblocked services from around the world, including video streaming and music services.  Now you have Unlocator, check out the many free and subscription based streaming services now available to you by clicking here. Happy streaming.