Send reply to:  	"POS View" 
From:           	"POS View" 
Subject:        	Legal challanges off-shore (Chapter 21)
Date sent:      	Mon, 17 May 2004 12:13:48 +1000


Thank you for the invitation sent to for the PUBLIC DEBATE ON DRAFT FTA SUBMISSIONS

Please note my details and please accept my apologies as the notice is a wee bit short for this week.

Our interest is in their: Chapter 21 - Dispute Resolution

We have every reason to worry if a foreign company can demand a case be heard locally for them but at major expense to an
Australian company, that is, they "walk" to the courts and we have all the cost of travel, accommodation, foreign lawyers 
etc.  We have experienced such "unfair trials" here under our own law and do not want this to be exaggerated under the 
camouflage of "in our best interests".

I trust they are referring to real issues like Copyright challenges and not "end user trivial disputing"

As we see it, for software developers we compete on a level-ish playing field now and always have, one problem is that:

For some we have to drop prices to levels where mass sales are vital to survive, yet we do not have the same numbers. We 
have learned to live with that.

Even so, if we market a product for (say) $Aus 500, then we give the reseller 30% and the distributor takes 20% our return 
might be $250 A legal case over such an item, is not practical to defend, it's easier to refund and let them keep it, 
meaning USA consumers could "walk" to their local equivalent of our courts, lodge an unrealistic complaint demanding 
unrealistic damages (due maybe to a badly configured network) and we would have to be found guilty unless we attend in 
(say) New York.

We witnessed a similar case here in Australia, where the plaintiff (back in 2000) had a PC that was not Y2K compliant, and 
the software used the System Date, so the dates were /00 (as any computer literate person would expect).  

Not a fault of the software, but a fault of the non-Y2K hardware, yet the plaintiff gave evidence that the reports were not
accurate (date driven reports) and the software vendor was found guilty because they did not attend the remote court hearing
(Australia is a big place).  

Result: A sale of a $500 package cost the developer $26,000.00 causing the closure of the company.

Hopefully this is not what is being said here and hopefully we can read up on their Chapter 21.

I thank you again for your information, it was well received and much appreciated


Ron Mellor

Revised: S: 07:03 Sat 29/12/2001 Syd 2089
F: 07:32 Sat 29/12/2001 Syd 2089
Who: sgg
Authorised: sgg
Created: 09:45 Tue 13/06/2000 Syd 2065
By: kmb
Revision: 3a4h1.002
Original Page: 3a4h
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