Copyright Amendment Bill Joint Statement

March 23, 2017

Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill

Screenrights, Copyright Agency and Universities Australia welcome the introduction of amendments to streamline and update the statutory licence in the Copyright Act for copying and sharing of content for education.

The organisations worked together, with representatives from the schools sector, to develop a joint proposal to government.

This followed a government invitation to the organisations to collaborate on a proposal as part of a recommendation by the Australian Law Reform Commission in its report on Copyright and the Digital Economy.

The new version of the statutory licence will be vastly simplified and better suited to the digital environment.

It will reduce red-tape for teachers and administrators in the education sector and will introduce a principles-based approach to ensure the licence can adapt to technological change, while still safeguarding appropriate support for the creation of new resources for the education sector.

The organisations also welcome the amendments for libraries and disability access. We note with sadness the passing on Sunday of Ms Elena Down, Senior Advisor for Disability Inclusion at CBM and a former officer of the Attorney-General’s Department, who for many years worked on policy issues for disabled persons. She would be very glad to see these important amendments enter Parliament, as we are.

23 March 2017