Copyright Reform Needed for Future Innovation and Current Practice

The Tech and Telco sector support Attorney-General’s commitment to copyright reform

Today the Tech and Telco industries joined other organisations and experts in welcoming the Attorney-General George Brandis’ commitment to fixing Australia’s copyright law, and requesting that the update of Australia’s laws includes the introduction ‘fair use’. 

This coincides with the final report of the Australia Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) review of Australian copyright law, released last Thursday. The exhaustive and independent review has recommended that Australia adopt a fair use system.

The ALRC’s recommendations recognise that without 21st Century copyright laws, Australia will struggle to sustain 21st Century industries,” says Australian Digital Alliance executive officer, Trish Hepworth.

“Fair use copyright will create the foundations Australia needs develop digital and technological industries.”

“If the government is serious about encouraging innovation it will commit to these reforms. Some of the biggest innovations coming out of places like Silicon Valley aren’t even legal in Australia under current laws”

The technology sector has been joined by the telecommunications industry in supporting copyright reform.

“Fair use will ‘future-proof’ our laws in a time of rapid technological changes. We call on the government to follow through on the ALRC’s recommendations,” says Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton, whose members include Australia’s leading Internet Service Providers.

“Under current laws, basic functions for ISPs such as caching and search-engine indexing are illegal. This means data needs to travel further to reach Australian consumers, adding to costs and therefore bills”

“Australia’s ISPs want to be world leaders in offering consumers the best and most current services. However our broken copyright laws make this close to impossible.”

The Australian Digital Alliance, eBay Australia, Google and the Communications Alliance have joined a broad coalition of commercial, educational and creative organisations in calling on the government to commit to copyright reform.

The proposed fair use system includes ‘fairness factors’ to protect copyright against infringement or other uses which may have a large impact on the market for the copyrighted material.

Fair use will allow consumers greater use of content they legally own, while at the same time protecting content producers and artists. The United States has a Fair use system, and is one of the largest producers of copyrighted content in the world.

Media contact:

Trish Hepworth 0420530244

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