Pirate Party Australia recently made a submission to the Productivity Commission’s “Right to Repair” inquiry. While giving the Productivity Commission credit for their approach, we worry it will end up an ineffective PR exercise, given the Government’s record and existing treaties and legislation obstacles to the “Right to Repair”.
Abuse of Intellectual Property is rightly increasing in prominence. “Repair Cafes” and other initiatives are opening up throughout Australia. The fact the Government is showing an interest is a positive, in its way. Nevertheless, the treaties the Government is a signatory to, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement 2011 and laws such as the Copyright Act 1968 are opposed to the recognition of a right-to-repair. Sadly, the inquiry may end up as lip service, while the Productivity Commission has made a genuine attempt to engage with the issues. In addition, in the past both parties in Government have been very selective in implementing Productivity Commission recommendations – and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it again.
We suspect the Government will continue to allow big business to abuse its position and make little substantial progress on the “Right to Repair”.