Redbubble considers leaving Aus

Australian personalised print marketplace Redbubble company is looking at its options and considering moving its operations out of Australia, fearing vulnerability to litigation following a new copyright amendment bill passing the Senate.

Redbubble was founded 12 years ago by three friends in Melbourne, it is an online portal matching artists with consumers wanting personalised print on t-shirts, caps, cups and the like, and has been wildly successful, sales in the six months to December topped $100m.

Redbubble has already had two copyright lawsuits in the past year, with Hell’s Angels and Pokemon. CEO Martin Hosking has said the new laws, which aim to protect servicers, would contrarily leave Redbubble open to more litigation.

[Related: Redbubble revenue up by 30 per cent]

The new Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill 2017, which is now before the House of Representatives, says service providers are protected from copyrighted content being posted by users, as long as they work swiftly to remove the content. The laws have created a definition for service providers as a carriage service service provider, an organisation helping persons with a disability or an establishment such as a library, archives, cultural or educational institution; which leaves online platforms such as Redbubble unprotected.

Hosking has said the company is exploring moving to other countries which protect user generated content platforms from litigation, with the bill potentially affecting its manufacturing jobs in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Redbubble has around 220 staff.

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