The ADA strongly supports the majority of the findings of the Productivity Commission in the final report of its Inquiry into Australia's IP Arrangements. In particular, the ADA supports the keystone of the Commission’s copyright recommendations - the introduction of a modern fair use provision to add flexibility to Australia’s copyright system and more adequately protect user rights.
The ADA strongly supports the principal copyright finding of the report, that Australia’s copyright arrangements"have been slow to adapt to technological change, imposing costs on the broader community” and as result are “skewed too far in favour of copyright owners, to the detriment of consumers and intermediate users.” To address this imbalance, the ADA strongly supports the keystone of the Commission’s copyright recommendations - the introduction of a modern fair use provision to add flexibility to Australia’s copyright system and more adequately protect user rights.
The ADA in general supports the proposed findings and recommendations set out in the Commission's draft IP report. We believe that the recommendation that Australia should adopt an open ended fair use exception is the key recommendation of the draft report, and the most important step that can currently be taken to ensure an efficient, effective and adaptable copyright system in Australia.
The ADA and the ALCC strongly support the policy reforms proposed by the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill. We feel these are important changes that provide significant benefits for Australian consumers and businesses. They will particularly benefit the cultural, educational, disability and technology sectors.
This submission aims to contribute to the PC's consideration of issues relating Australia’s copyright system, to ensure that it provides appropriate incentives for innovation, investment and the production of creative works and does not unreasonably impede further innovation, competition and access to goods and services.
Copyright is traditionally a civil matter. However, the scope of the property rights, protections and limitations are creatures of statute. The ADA and ALCC submit that the Act currently inappropriately inhibits free speech, shifts the burden of proof in one criminal (and a number of civil) offence(s) and contains unjustified offences of strict liability. We propose:
● Removal of some of the existing copyright exceptions (as previously identified by the ALRC), to be replaced with a fair use exception to copyright infringement
As our intellectual property laws are increasingly regulated by rules set in international agreements, the processes by which we negotiate, approve and enter into those agreements is of crucial importance. The move away from open, multilateral fora to secret trade-based treaties has added to the complexities of ensuring appropriate IP policies.
As such the ADA and ALCC were happy with the opportunity to submit to the Senate inquiry into the treaty making process. We made the following proposals to improve the treaty making process:
Fair use, limiting geoblocking, removal of parallel import restrictions and ensuring intellectual property is subject to rules limiting restrictive trade practices were the key submissions the ADA and ALCC made to the Competition Policy Review
We believe that these reforms would provide a regulatory framework with the right incentives to enable and promote healthy competition, leading to innovation, better choices for consumers and lower prices.
This submission is solely concerned with the Intellectual Property provisions of KAFTA, with particular focus on the copyright provisions. While we express no opinion on the overall benefit of KAFTA to the Australian population, we have some serious reservations about the IP Chapter. In particular we are concerned that KAFTA: