The Copyright Agency welcomes the passing of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 by the Australian Parliament.

The passage of the Bill means it will be even simpler for students to access a huge range of content, libraries will be able to exhibit more material to the Australian public and people with disabilities will be able to access copyright material more easily.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “We commend and thank the Government for guiding industry and stakeholder-agreed reform to both remove unnecessary red tape and to ensure Australia’s copyright system continues to be a world leader in innovation and access.

“These are important reforms that ensure Australia’s copyright system continues to evolve with developments in technology, content creation and consumer behaviour. They also ensure rights holders continue to receive a fair payment for their work so they can continue to produce great Australian content.

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

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

  • Simplify the statutory licences for education and 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  • Introduce a fixed term of protection for unpublished works (that are currently covered by copyright indefinitely) making it easier for libraries to exhibit material to the Australian public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 accessible format versions for people with disabilities

“The Copyright Agency continues to work with government, industry and stakeholders to look at further ways to modernise Australia’s copyright framework to ensure it remains a key driver of investment in Australian stories and content.”