Australian Consumer Advocate CHOICE Encourages IP Spoofing To Get Better Prices
from the scaling-the-virtual-walls dept
And, apparently, some consumer advocate groups out there are beginning to feel similarly. Take Australian advocacy group CHOICE, for instance, who recently submitted to a parliamentary inquiry on technology pricing with the opinion that consumers down under should be spoofing their IP addresses to get better deals from global providers.
The group has today released a guide explaining how to do so using virtual private networks (VPNs) and alternative domain name systems (DNSs).
Choice also suggested setting up US iTunes accounts and using surrogate US addresses for forwarding packages from American stores. Choice has noted previously that Australians pay 52 per cent more for digital music downloads on iTunes compared to US users.If you just heard a loud thumping sound, it was probably the collective fainting of technology and media providers over the idea of Australians paying the same price for goods as Americans. You can almost hear their angry cries now, can't you? "This is geo-piracy! They aren't playing by the rules!"
And that might be true. But the thing is, if the rules suck, why should you play by them? Take the iTunes example: how in the world, with a globally connected internet and the offering of digital goods, could it possibly make sense for a consumer in one nation to pay more than a consumer in another? Excluding the false barriers that have been erected (like licensing, geo-restrictions, etc.), where is the logic in this practice? Minus the occasional invalidation of product warranties, there is none, as CHOICE notes.
"As long as consumers are aware of the risks and do their due-diligence, there is no reason why they cannot pick up a bargain online with confidence," Levey said. "It also undermines the virtual walls these companies have built around the Australian market, which in the long term will help bring down prices to a global parity."Or, in other words, position global providers to actually compete in a global marketplace, not the artificially segmented anti-consumer marketplace they've constructed for themselves.