PwC Report says copyright changes should be ‘evidence based’

December 7, 2015

Changes to Australia’s copyright laws to a US-style ‘fair use’ model would ‘undermine incentives to invest, trigger company closures and smash local creativity’, according to a cost-benefit analysis by PwC – as reported in the Australian Financial Review article: Don’t change copyright law, urges PwC.

The view is supported by the Copyright Agency, along with other media companies including Foxtel, News Corp Australia and representations from music, broadcasting and book industries.

The Copyright Agency argues that if ‘fair use’ exceptions were introduced in Australia, the educational publishing sector would diminish and the quality of educational materials would be reduced, just as they had in Canada (read Creators in Education Sector Critical). An economic report written on the experience in Canada details the closure of publishing companies and loss of jobs which resulted from a change to the country’s copyright laws.

The PwC report finds there would be significant cost to change systems with no evidence that it would boost economic activity.

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a 12-month public inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property system. The Commission released an Issues Paper inviting initial submissions by 30 November.

The Productivity Commission will issue a report in March or April next year.

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