Redbubble considering Aus exit

ASX-listed personalised print company Redbubble is weighing up the costs and benefits of moving its operations abroad, citing potential litigation risks relating to a bill which has moved through the Senate.


Speaking to The Australian, Martin Hosking, CEO, Redbubble, says, “We have to prudently look at continuing operations in this country.


“That’s not just us, but it would be for any company dealing with user generated content (UGC). It was simply not dealt with by the Liberal National Party coalition, who trumpet support for innovation but when push comes to shove aren’t following up with action.


“It similarly goes for the Labor Party, and there are consequences here. The legislation is a poorly crafted compromise designed for the government to get it off their agenda, and it leaves us in a very poor situation.”


While many vendors sell prints containing copyrighted characters on the company’s platform, Redbubble’s website states: “We value originality and creativity, and we strongly oppose infringement of copyright, trademark, publicity rights, or any other intellectual property rights. To be clear Redbubble does not itself manufacture, sell or distribute the products on this site. Rather, Redbubble is the host of an online marketplace.”


Redbubble has been taken to Australian courts previously, being made to play $1 in damages to Pokemon for the use of the company’s popular Pikachu character.


The ruling judged, Justice Pagone, noted that Redbubble's business model of allowing artists to upload and sell any design made copyright infringements inevitable.


"The business established by Redbubble carried the inherent risk of infringement of copyright.

"There may have been a sound commercial basis for Redbubble to manage the risks of infringement as it did, but in doing so it authorised the infringements which occurred."


Hosking has previously said that global platforms such as Reddit, or Pinterest would never be created in Australia, because they would be “immediately sued out of existence.”


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