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back to article Apple exec says music labels, Hollywood, 'old fashioned' on copyright

The head of Apple's Australian operations, Tony King, has told an Australian Parliamentary inquiry into information technology pricing that rights holders of music and filmed entertainment have an “old fashioned” attitude to retailing. Australia is running the inquiry to figure out why locals often pay more for software, digital …

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Holmes

When sterling is running at 1.5 $ to the £, it's one of life's little mysteries that 700 dollar rrp shiny can retail for £700 rrp here. Even with tax and shipping added, there's an elephant in the room.

$700 x120% =$840 import tax paid. $50 per piece in bulk for shipping might just about be feasible if they're wrapped in bubbly unicorn wrap. Say $900 dollars on arrival. Somewhere, somehow, another $150 dollars has found its way into the total.

If I'm buying online and it's a download, and it's still a dollar to a pound, then gouging is in full effect. No doubt large US corporations see it as a useful benefit of a weak currency, but I can't help wondering how they'd react if our currency lost half its value. Does anyone think that they'd hold prices at the previous sterling rate to keep market share? More likely that they'd fret about it becoming a grey market transit hub and double the rrp in the UK overnight. If they weren't effectively gouging left right and centre, there wouldn't be a grey market.

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Once your currency drops, they up the price. When your currency goes back up, you're already use to the higher price so it remains the same. Thieving pricks

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Thieving?

It's only thieving if you don't have a choice about buying it, which you certainly do for Apple products. If this was done for food or petrol, then you'd have a point. If everyone in the UK decided to not buy from American companies who price this way (and Apple is far from the only one) then maybe they'd lower their prices to get back into your market.

You have little room to complain - if you own Apple products you presumably felt that even at the inflated price they were still worth it. If you do not, then you have no more right to complain about their pricing than a vegan does complaining about the price of a Big Mac.

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Well

If an item is $900 on arrival, you then need to add VAT at 20% which is $180. US prices almost never include sales tax, whereas most UK prices include it.

So theres the "Missing" $150 and then some.

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Not always - I've bought a number of Mac Minis over the years and price for the entry level has moved around a bit. Starting at around £500 it did shoot up to £650 then dropped to £529 and is now £500 again.

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Re: Thieving?

It is thieving. Considered some Adobe products would be cheaper to fly someone to the US to pick up a copy than buy here. This is on top of our dollar being worth more.

These same clowns then complain when people pirate stuff....

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bit rich for apple

standard marketing technique is you set your price at the what the market will bear. so their shiny products which are using mainly commodity parts are priced at the point that enough gimp glasses wearing hipsters can get themselves in debt for instead of chasing volume sales.

to critiscise another product is a bit dangerous, to my think anyway.

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What a load of crap!

It's a case of paying what they think we can pay. Lying buck passing prick

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Ask the rights holders

And I wonder what they'll say? Isn't their Association set up so that they don't have to deal with difficult questions?

Whilst Apple is bad, the Steam store is worse - 2K Games regularly slap a $89.99 US price on goods in the Aussie store, whilst the US store gets the same digital download for $49.99 US.

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Unhappy

Pot Meet Kettle

Up until the inquiry, Apple software like FinalCut was nowhere near price parity.

There's no external distributors there, so why enforce the Territorial price difference?

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Get Ready to DOWNVOTE!

Fixing this doesn't require laws, free markets solve the problem easily:

Make first sale apply to goods from other nations. Arbitrage takes care of the rest.

(arbitrage, n. the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices.)

In the US this is EXACTLY what just happend in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. These differences occur because governments make laws that make buying in a cheap market, then undercutting the producer impractical. In a free market, arbitrageurs will undercut the local channel, causing a trade war and forcing the price down.

The down side is, it also cause the similar effect on labour (which a free market treats like any other good). I'll leave deciding if the good outweighs the bad as an exercise to the reader.

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Re: Get Ready to DOWNVOTE!

Your mixing free competition with free markets.

Free markets create all but free competition.

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Re: Get Ready to DOWNVOTE!

Doesn't work. First sale applies to physical purchases of a copyrighted work, but with digital sales like iTunes there is never actually a legal 'sale' to apply first sale too. It's a license, under contract. The first sale doctrine doesn't apply. Some stores generously permit you to transfer your purchases to other customers, but they are under no obligation to do this.

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Re: Get Ready to DOWNVOTE!

The down side is, it also cause the similar effect on labour (which a free market treats like any other good).

That happens because globalization is hypocritically set up so that the financial masters can move their money and goods around freely, but the plebs who are doing the work are restricted by borders to live where they happened to be born (for the most part).

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Re: First sale applies to physical purchases

The way the law is written now, yes. But as soon as the lawmakers say that First Sale applies to IP that is no longer the case. Which is what he's advocating.

Now, you can argue about whether or not that would be a good thing for the production of new IP, but certainly would fix the pricing issue.

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There's a hidden assumption in 'market forces'

Everyone who comments publicly states the same thing: the free market will act to bring prices to the lowest possible level - as per Apple's quote in the article 'we'd love to bring the price down'.

This is not actually the case: the aim of the free market is 'all the market will bear' - to increase the price to the level at which items sold multiplied by profit per item is maximised. Trust me - I'd far rather sell a million widgets with a ten quid markup than a two quid markup...

Any low price in bulk is illusory and temporary - to drive people to your product, or to drive other suppliers out of business. Apple are not in the game of giving music away; like every other supplier they want to be the only game in town so they can charge what they want.

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Re: There's a hidden assumption in 'market forces'

Mainly what Apple want is as much money for them and as little money for the creators as possible. Like supermarkets with food producers they want to drive the price down so they sell more without reducing their margin per unit sold. And the result - well you find out that the meat is horsemeat and the music is horseshit and only the supermarket executives get to make a decent living.

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Re: There's a hidden assumption in 'market forces'

If you substitute "Recording Industry" for "Apple", then you already have the status quo - especially the bit about horseshit music.

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Re: There's a hidden assumption in 'market forces'

No market's are not about what it will bear, that's the claim made by the market droids. Markets a clearing function. They clear the most produced goods at the price at which consumers will pay it, assuming there are no government created or natural monopolies that affect the market. And so far all of those 'natural monopolies' which have been claimed in the past have turned out to be government created.

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They do have a point, when it comes to the cost of music at least

Its too damn high. When it comes to the collective rights societies, Its not priced in line with quality or supply and demand.

If you want to setup a web radio station; although the price looks reasonable at their lowest rate, a few sums will reveal that if you have an average of more than 2 listeners, you're screwed.

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Anonymous Coward

Who are they kidding?

Firmly Upvoted.

How can they charge the same for classic albums versus ring-tone music....?

How can they charge the same for a sub-par sequel versus the original....?

Creative industries and the rights holders live in a unique bubble.

They always set the price as high as possible with complete disregard to quality or supply & demand!

Here's an idea, what if the next U2 album or the Die Hard sequel is released for ONE DOLLAR!

Then for every 10 million sold the price goes up a fraction until demand trails off!

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Re: Who are they kidding?

<<Then for every 10 million sold the price goes up a fraction until demand trails off!>>

That model's already been tried, although at a smaller, independent scale.

I can't remember what the service was called, I remember using it to sell music though.

Songs would start at something like 0.10$/song, and the more people rated it up or bought them, the higher the price would go until it hit something like 0.99$.... when demand stopped, the price would slowly drop.

It was great, it was getting pretty popular with independent artists... and the it was bought out by a large online music company...and shut down and never replaced by anything like it.

THAT is free market at work right there.

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"music labels, Hollywood, 'old fashioned' on copyright"

The claim "music labels, Hollywood, 'old fashioned' on copyright" is true, but it's a bit rich coming from Apple "Walled Garden" Inc.

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