ADA abroad: copyright talks in Paris and Geneva

Last week we talked Australian copyright law and policy at the CERDI Copyright in Motion summer seminar in Paris, France.

For 5 days, academics, practitioners and advocates from over 34 countries came together to discuss topical copyright issues and recent legislative developments across country borders. In small, workshop style sessions featuring panel presentations, participants shared insights into their national laws, identified useful models for amendment of laws and debated directions for future copyright reform.

Attending with me was ADA Board Director Dr. Rebecca Giblin and Herbert Geer Senior Associate, Leanne O'Donnell. Between the three of us, we took in sessions on transformative use of copyright material, internet intermediaries liability, orphan works, new business models for copyright licensing, digital content licensing, the public domain, P2P file sharing issues and flexible, open ended exceptions.

Each participant was tasked with providing a brief presentation at one of the workshop sessions. I contributed to a panel on orphan works, where I compared recent developments in the UK and EU on orphan works, and drew attention to aspects of orphan works discussions in Australia. I highlighted the range of orphaned works housed in Australian cultural institutions, libraries and universities, and considered the benefits and costs of a limitation or exception for use of orphan works vs a licensing approach. 

Rebecca Giblin presented as part of a panel discussing flexible exceptions, where she used the recent full Federal Court decision in National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 5 (in which the Optus TV Now remote PVR was found to be outside the scope of the time shifting exception) to illustrate an argument in favour of open ended exceptions. 

Of greatest benefit to me attending the seminar was gaining insight into the different foundations underpinning national copyright systems. I have a much better understanding of the strong moral rights protections for creators that underpin EU copyright laws, which inform their drafting of protections and exceptions. Academics from Japan and Taiwan gave interesting presentations on 'fair use' models being considered in their jurisdictions, and I discovered that Mexico has a life + 100 years term of copyright protection!

A big thank you must go to all the organisers of the CERDI seminar, for developing a format for copyright discussions conducive to information sharing and spirited debate. 

Now it's on to Geneva, for the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). It's day 1, and the International Federation of Libraries & Information Associations (IFLA) (with ALCC as part of the delegation) has just made their first statement on education. Updates to follow shortly!


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