26 August
Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

SUBMISSION: Digital Platforms Services Inquiry – Report on General Online Retail Marketplaces

Arts Law has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who are currently examining general online retail marketplaces (such as eBay Australia, Amazon Australia, Catch.com.au, and Kogan’) as part of their ongoing five-year inquiry into digital platform services. In Arts Law’s submission, we raised the following issues which we are aware impact our clients and the arts community:

  • The volume of copyright infringements occurring on these online retail marketplaces, and the difficulty for rights holders to monitor and report instances of copyright infringement, due to the complexities around the different terms and conditions and lack of uniform complaint processes.
  • The anonymity afforded to vendors on online retail marketplaces, which makes it difficult, if not impossible for rights holders to pursue any infringements.
  • The ease at which vendors can simply create a new profile on these online retail marketplaces and continue to sell infringing material, causing the rights holders to play a continuous game of ‘whack-a-mole’ to address these reoccurring infringements.
  • As a result, these online retail marketplaces often provide an ideal environment for inauthentic Indigenous art and products to be listed.  Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) is inadequately protected under our current legal system. The vulnerability of ICIP has been exacerbated through the ease with which it can be exploited through online marketplaces.

All these above issues have a carryover effect on consumers who are seeking to purchase authentic products. Arts Law looks forward to engaging further with the ACCC as part of this inquiry to help voice the concerns around online retail platforms, which have been reported to us by our clients.