Exhaustion issues in copyright law (Q240)

Clare Cunliffe, Campbell Thompson, Niloufer Selvadurai, Nico Burmeister

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


AIPPI Australian Group Submission.

In general, the principle of local exhaustion applies under Australian copyright law both for physical and electronic goods.
However, parallel importation is permitted of physical goods that contain non-infringing copies of certain kinds of works, such as computer programs and sound recordings.
Copyright laws should be harmonised, so far as they apply to physical goods, based on the principle of international exhaustion. In Australia, this would involve the repeal of ss. 37 and 38 insofar as they apply to parallel importation, and the consequential repeal of the various parallel importation exceptions. However, harmonisation may be an unrealistic goal.
It is considered that international exhaustion should not generally apply for works that are in online goods, and harmonisation of laws does not seem realistic. If there is to be harmonisation it is thought that it should be on the basis of non-recognition of the principle of exhaustion.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle/International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
Commissioning bodyAIPPI Australia
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2014


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