Australia sides with the USA in secret talks to reinforce geoblocking, despite publicly opposing it

Australian Money US Flag

By on November 14, 2013 at 9:31 am

It was great news back in July when the Australian parliament released the findings of its inquiry into the Australia Tax, and publicly claimed for the world to hear that they supported the idea of enshrining in law “consumers’ rights to circumvent technological protection measures that control geographic market segmentation”.

In other words, that they would make it illegal to enforce nonsense geoblocking that forces Australians to pay higher prices. Great, right?

Now it seems that the government has, in secret, been using the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to do the exact opposite. New documents released by Wikileaks overnight show that Australia has secretly backed the USA in their attempts to negotiate for stricter rules on geoblocking, and supports the USA’s proposal to make it illegal to circumvent these restrictions.

An amendment to the TPP proposed by Canada would make it legal to buy and sell devices which defeat region coding, such as mod chips for consoles. But despite their public statements that geoblocking is harmful and they will get rid of it, Australia actually opposes this amendment.

Canada, along seven other TPP negotiating countries, also want to enshrine in law that ISPs cannot be held responsible for any copyright infringement undertaken by their customers — a position that was upheld in the High Court of Australia last year in a landmark case between iiNet and AFACT.

However, Australia is listed in the TPP documents, alongside the USA, as opposing this amendment.

As noted by the Sydney Morning Herald, the one area in which Australia opposes the US is on the issue of drug patents, with the US pushing for even stronger patent rights for drug companies.

TPP negotiations are ongoing. Media and other observers are barred from attending.

Source: Wikileaks via SMH (thanks, Jeremy)

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84 comments (Leave your own)

Are we surprised? It’s the Lib’s – the rich get richer.


Are we surprised? It’s the Lib’s – the rich get richer.

The Liberals were part of the bipartisan committee that handed down the IT Pricing Inquiry recommendations.

This is about more than just Libs vs. Labor or whatever.


Two-faced scum bags.


new zealand is looking better and better


Maybe I can still apply for that job as a colonist on Mars in 2020 …



You’re too late, the way things are going we’re all already being sent to Uranus. <_<



*Stifles a guffaw*


seems these days we are just lapdogs for the US… “how far do you want me to pull my pants down? yes sir, whatever you want sir”


new zealand is looking better andbetter

This man needs help Stat!


How does this effect me?


I’ve been sitting here trying really hard to find a way of expressing my thoughts on the matter without turning it into a Lib vs Lab rant but I really can’t.

The main goal of the current party is to keep their friends pockets lined and deceive the public as long as they can.

Just look at how they handled the asylum seeker issue! *Derp let’s initiate a media blackout on arrivals!* “HAI GAIZ! WE STOPPED THE BOATS IN 50 DAYS!”

I wonder what they will try next?

I said it before.. The Australian people f***ed up when they chose not to see through their lies and instead chose the greater of two evils. This is only beginning of what is to come.


First i’ve heard of this so went to wikia to try and find out more on it, i know wikia aint the most reliable site but the stuff they have up there is rather damning….

The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations—like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America—are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement.

I don’t understand how they can make negotiations, in secret, that affect the whole population. Then to further exacerbate they invite corporations to sit in on these ‘secret’ negotiations but exclude their own government??? How the fuck does this shit come to pass?

The obvious corruption in governments these days is deplorable – it’s like they are not even trying to hide it anymore.



Can’t we on mass tell the Politicians to scap the TPP altogether.


Tim Colwill,

I was going to ask, did Australia’s position on this form before the election? I mean Abbott’s Govt has barely been sworn in and these sorts of things take time.

I would love to hear the Parliamentary committee’s reaction on this. Talk about a waste of effort..


How does this effect me?

It ‘affects’ you by increasing the prices you pay for games online.. it would be the equivalent to preventing consumer importation of goods from overseas.. no more getting a book from Amazon because it’s cheaper (despite massive delivery costs), or ordering a pair of sneakers that aren’t available here but can be ordered from the UK etc.

It will kill buying games from the US amazon site, block greenmangaming unless they setup a local store (despite already inflating their AU prices to make publishers happy) etc. etc. make it illegal to use a VPN to activate a game that requires activation from an IP within the states (actually illegal as opposed to being against their user agreement) etc. etc.

Also.. one of the first things Abbott said when he came into office was to get to work to ‘push the TPP through’.. no one really took note of it at the time.. but this is hardly surprising now based on those comments.


too annoyed to write anything sensible atm



ralphwiggum: I was going to ask, did Australia’s position on this form before the election? I mean Abbott’s Govt has barely been sworn in and these sorts of things take time.

I really don’t know unfortunately.

I would imagine Australia’s position was largely decided irrespective of government, since so much of the TPP is influenced by industry figures. However, today I read that:

The Gillard government made it clear that Australia would not sign another trade agreement that included international dispute settlement by tribunals. This followed Australians being burnt by an agreement that has allowed Phillip-Morris to take Australia to an international tribunal over its plain packaging laws, even though our own High Court already decided against Phillip-Morris.

So it’s possible that Australia’s position on this was recently reversed, as the TPP comes under this agreement.



So the only recourse that would be left to me if the already ridiculous and unnecessary act of jumping through all these loopholes and VPNing my way to proper, fair, ethical pricing was closed down would be to…. Resort to outright piracy then I guess?

Fuck me what’s wrong with this bass ackward country….?


why? what do we gain from this?

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