Software Reforms Good for Australia

The Australian Digital Alliance (ADA) today congratulated the Federal Government on its proposed changes to Australian software copyright law.

Australia’s consumers, independent software developers and business generally will benefit from the Government’s decision to amend the Copyright Act to allow the development of new computer programs that are compatible with existing programs.

“It will soon be easier for Australian companies to compete more effectively in the global IT market by making products that connect and inter-operate smoothly with existing IT systems. Consumers will benefit from increased competition and greater choice” said Mara Bun of the Australian Consumers Association.

“This change will boost competition in the software market. It also brings the ideal of open systems closer to reality. These are welcome steps forward in the evolving information economy.” said Tom Cochrane, a Pro Vice Chancellor at Queensland University of Technology.

The Government decision will also permit businesses to correct errors in their IT systems where the supplier fails to do so. This means that businesses can fix year 2000 problems without being liable for copyright infringement.

The proposed changes will implement the recommendations of the Copyright Law Review Committee’s 1995 report on Computer Software Protection. They bring Australia into line with its major trading partners and meet all the requirements of international copyright treaties.

The ADA is a new coalition of public and private sector interests formed to promote balanced copyright law and provide an effective voice for a public interest perspective in the copyright debate. ADA members include schools, universities, Internet industry groups, consumer groups, major cultural institutions, computer companies, scientific and other research organisations, libraries and individuals.