Productivity Commission continues to peddle false assumptions on copyright

October 25, 2017

The Productivity Commission continues its crusade against Australian creators by repeating recommendations on copyright reform based on a mischaracterisation of Australia’s copyright framework.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said the copyright sections of the Commission’s “Shifting The Dial” report continue to undermine the value of Australian producers of literature, education materials, music, film and content by repeating falsehoods and misinformation on Australia’s current copyright framework.

“The Productivity Commission continue to say the introduction of the US doctrine of ‘fair use’ would lead to innovation, without providing evidence to support this,” Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said.

“The recommendations on innovation fly in the face of global research showing intellectual property and copyright as a facilitator of innovation and creativity with a lack of business risk appetite and access to venture capital as the real barriers to innovation.  In the recently released Global Innovation Index 2017, of the top ten leading innovation countries, only two have ‘fair use’.

“Australians artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers have a right to receive fair payment for their work. The sweeping changes to Australian copyright laws that were being pushed by the Productivity Commission as well as American big tech companies would have seen these protections taken away.”

“The Commission also continues to repeat falsehoods around Australia’s current copyright framework with assumptions that copyright material cannot be accessed through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or online teaching platforms. The fact is the statutory licence for education has been able to encompass developments such as learning management systems, tablets and MOOCs.”

“Of course we must continue to evolve our copyright systems so that we can make the best use of new technologies to create, distribute and consume new Australian content. The Copyright Agency worked closely with key stakeholders to agree changes to the copyright regime that recently went through the Parliament.”

Of the 380 detailed submissions to the Commission’s recent enquiry that covered copyright issues only 38 supported ‘fair use’ and more than 75% of submissions opposed the Commission’s final recommendations.

Copyright Agency | Viscopy is an organisation that collects and distributes copyright fees supporting our 43,000 members made up of writers, illustrators, artists, publishers, journalists and content creators across the literary, educational publishing, media and visual art sectors.

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