Productivity Commission recommends a fair copyright system for all Australians

The Productivity Commission's recommendations for a fairer copyright system for all Australians are welcomed by peak body the Australian Digital Alliance (ADA).

The final report of the inquiry into Australia's IP Arrangements was released by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science this morning.

The report finds that “Australia’s copyright arrangements lack balance and have been slow to adapt to technological change, imposing costs on the broader community.” The result is that they are “skewed too far in favour of copyright owners, to the detriment of consumers and intermediate users.”  

The Commission recommends a number of changes to address this lack of adaptability and balance. These include:

  • introducing a modern fair use provision to add flexibility to Australia’s copyright system and enshrine user rights;
  • protecting copyright exceptions against exclusion by contract or technologies;
  • clarifying user rights to circumvent geoblocking technologies;
  • extending the existing ISP safe harbor provisions to other online service providers;
  • strengthening the governance and transparency arrangements for collecting societies, starting with a review by the ACCC; and
  • requiring open access publication of publicly funded research.

The ADA supports these recommendations.

Jessica Coates, the Executive Officer of the ADA, said "A fair use provision is essential to enhance our economic growth and provide both the incentives and flexibility needed for creativity in the digital age. Fair use will future-proof copyright and encourage innovation. New uses that benefit society but do not harm copyright owners will be able to proceed immediately, without having to wait years for the legislation to catch up."

Ms Coates said “If implemented, the Productivity Commission’s proposals will provide major benefits for all Australians, fixing a number of outstanding problems with our copyright system.”

“Schools and universities, libraries and other cultural institutions, disability organisations and companies working with new technologies all support these recommendations. These groups rely on access to information to promote creativity and innovation, and create economic growth.”

“These changes will align Australia’s copyright regime with international best practice and will ensure that the everyday behaviour of millions of Australians – such as forwarding emails and using the latest technologies - will no longer be illegal.”

About the ADA

The ADA is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector interests formed to provide an effective voice for a public interest perspective in the copyright debate. ADA members include universities, schools, disability groups, libraries, galleries, museums, technology companies, and individuals.

Whilst the breadth of ADA membership spans various sectors, all members are united in their support of copyright law that balances the interests of rights holders with the interests of users of copyright material.

Media Contact

Jessica Coates:


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