In an article in Business Insider, the Chair of the Australian Copyright Council, Kate Haddock, picks apart Wikipedia’s campaign to get copyright changed in Australia.

She writes: ‘This campaign is about Big Tech companies who want the change so they can use Australian content — music, literature, educational materials, movies — without paying for it. But what with one thing and another, Big Tech are looking a bit more like Big Pharma than they used to, so they hide behind the more socially acceptable crowd-sourced Wikipedia, not to mention the librarians.

‘They’re calling for “fair use”, a legal doctrine used in just a handful of countries — the US, Singapore, South Korea and Israel — which they say will lead to a flourishing of innovation in Australia. But here’s the rub, “fair use” is what allows Big Tech companies to capture data about individuals and improve their search algorithms to help sell to advertisers. Google’s total ad sales in the first quarter of this year from all sources were worth $21.4 billion.

‘This is where you need to let the truth get in the way of this good story. Australian laws already allow extracts of copyrighted work to be displayed without permission in circumstances that are truly fair. But the so-called “fair use” exception would allow much more. The reason this is causing so much consternation within the artistic community in Australia is that its introduction could potentially allow massive users of copyright material to reduce or stop paying licence fees to creators, including for commercial uses of their work.’

Read the full article here.