The Attorney-General’s Department is seeking comments on the best way to implement the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty aims to ensure the blind and visually impaired can obtain works in an accessible form, such as braille, large print or audio books. Currently only between 3-7% of the world’s books are ever produced in accessible formats, a situation often referred to as the ‘book famine’.
A new research paper into authorisation liability commissioned by the Australian Digital Alliance has thrown into further doubt claims that we are in breach of our international obligations.
Comparing Australia’s regime to those in place in other common-law countries, including the USA, the report concludes that ‘Australia’s authorisation law is already at least as broad as its overseas equivalents’ and that extending it further ‘would impose new obligations on all sectors beyond those required of their competitors overseas’.
Effective responses to online copyright infringement are a hot topic, with countries around the world working out the best way to curb piracy without placing undue burdens on consumers and internet intermediaries. However our flexibility to consider new or novel approaches to the issue is being curtailed as we sign up to prescriptive Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which detail the response deemed 'appropriate' at the time.