Productivity Commission’s recommendations attack Australian creators

December 20, 2016

The Productivity Commission has ignored the testimonials and submissions of Australian creators, authors, musicians, filmmakers, journalists and artists by recommending the removal of protections that ensure Aussie creators receive fair payment for their work.

“Australians artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers have a right to receive fair payment for their work. These sweeping changes to Australian copyright laws being pushed by the Productivity Commission as well as American big tech companies will see these protections taken away,” Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said.

“This is not just unfair it is a threat to jobs of young Australians. This extreme approach outlined by the Commission will make it much harder to nurture the next generation of stars and Aussie icons – the Jimmy Barneses, Magda Szubanskis, Jessica Mauboys, Patrick Whites and Mad Max’s of the future.

“Kids should be able to grow up reading Australian stories, and watching Australian movies and TV shows to learn from the world they live in,” Mr Suckling said.

Mr Suckling says the Commission’s recommendations include the implementation of “Fair Use” – an American legal doctrine that has enabled large enterprises in the US to use copyright material for free.

Of the 380 detailed submissions to the Commission’s enquiry that covered copyright issues only 38 supported ‘fair use’ and more than 75% of submissions opposed the Commission’s recommendations.

“The Productivity Commission’s recommendations seem to be straight out of the US Big Tech playbook, ignoring the views of the vast majority of submissions which oppose these far-reaching recommendations that will wreak havoc on Australia’s creative community.

“A robust copyright framework is a key driver of investment in Australian stories and content. The report is a display of worrying ignorance about how the creative economy works and the Commission’s analysis should be completely disregarded by government.

“Of course we must continue to evolve our copyright systems so that we can make the best use of new technologies to create, distribute and consume new content. This includes practical solutions that increase access to content, and sensible, consensus-driven legislative changes such as those contained in a Bill that is already drafted that would simplify the statutory licence for education and assist libraries and people with disabilities.”

“We call on policy makers to rule out these recommendations and stand up for Australian creators.”

The Copyright Agency will respond in full to the Productivity Commission’s Final Report early next year.


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