Simplification of Copyright Act a Win for Local Creators and Users of Australian Content

March 23, 2017

Copyright Agency welcomes the Government’s amendments to the Copyright Act which will make it even simpler for students to access a huge range of content, allow libraries to exhibit more material to the Australian public and enable people with disabilities to access copyright material more easily.

“These changes remove unnecessary red-tape and are a sensible step in ensuring Australia’s copyright system continues to evolve with developments in technology, content creation and consumer behaviour,” said Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling.

“The changes also ensure rights holders continue to receive a fair payment for their work so that they can continue to produce great Australian content.

“The amendments to simplify the statutory licences make it even easier for students to access content in the digital age and are a result of a joint proposal between schools, universities, Screenrights and Copyright Agency.

“The amendments remove outdated provisions from the Copyright Act, ensuring that schools and universities can continue to access everything ever published in the world.

“Australia must ensure we continue to foster a strong local content industry while serving the best interests of Australian students, consumers and audiences now and into the future,” Mr Suckling said.

The changes enabled by the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017:

  • Simplify the statutory licences for education and should make it easier for students to access material and extend the exception for exams to online exams
  • Simplify and update provisions that enable libraries and other collecting institutions to make ‘preservation copies’ of material in their collections such as manuscripts
  • Introduce a fixed term of protection for unpublished works that are currently covered by copyright indefinitely making it easier for libraries to exhibit material to the Australian public

Simplify and update the provisions that allow the making of accessible format versions for people with disabilities, fulfilling Australia’s obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty

Copyright Agency also welcomed the Government’s removal from the Bill of the ‘safe harbour’ extension to enable further assessment of the potential impact on Australian content creators and other stakeholders.

“The Copyright Agency will continue to work with government, industry and stakeholders to look at further ways to modernise Australia’s copyright framework to ensure t remains a key driver of investment in Australian stories and content,” Mr Suckling said.

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