Everything you need to know about the Productivity Commission’s findings on copyright

February 2, 2017

Just before Christmas last year the Productivity Commission’s final report on Australia’s IP arrangements was released by the Government.

The report recommends a number of damaging changes to Australian copyright including introducing ‘Fair Use’ and removing parallel import restrictions on books.

The Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is accepting submissions on the final report via a dedicated webpage, by 14 February 2017. This Department was headed by Greg Hunt MP, but the portfolio now sits with NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

The Copyright Agency issued a Media Release in response to the report and our CEO, Adam Suckling wrote in the Fairfax press late last year, that: “Until now, copyright might have been thought of as the dry but necessary detail – but the government’s Productivity Commission has taken a massive swipe at Aussie creators, influenced by US Big Tech, by suggesting we throw out our fit-for-purpose copyright system and replace it with a complex US doctrine that has enabled profitable enterprises in that country to use the hard-earned work of others for free.”

For a summary of the report and reactions from other stakeholders, click here.

The Copyright Agency will be making a submission on the report and will continue to advocate on behalf of its members, the majority of whom want the copyright system to provide a balance between their rights and consumers’ rights.

On a more positive note, the Opposition, the Nick Xenophon Team, the Greens and Jacqui Lambie have backed Australian writers and publishers by publicly supporting current territorial copyright arrangements – which allow the public access to all books and also enable Australian publishers to invest in Australian writers.