PC's final report pushed back to September - or February?

The Australian Productivity Commission (PC) updated its website last week to indicate that the reporting date for its Intellectual Property Framework Inquiry is now September. The announcement citing the recent election and caretaker period for the delay.

The PC released a draft of the report in April which made a number of important recommendations in relation to copyright, including the introduction of a flexible fair use exception in Australia. You can see our full rundown of the draft report’s recommendations here. There has been quite a bit of pushback in relation to some of the draft comments and recommendations, particularly around copyright term, so it will be interesting to see whether any significant changes are made for the final report.

Importantly, the PC has also adjusted the language on its website to make it clear that September is not the public reporting date, but rather the date the final report will go to government. The government then has 25 sitting days to release the report publicly. Looking at the Parliamentary Sitting Calendar for the rest of the year, and assuming the report isn’t passed to the government until at least 15 September, there are only 20 sitting days left in the year. This means the public might not have access to the report until the 2nd sitting week of 2017 – ie February.

This report could have some major ramifications for copyright law in Australia. But I guess we will all have to wait a bit longer to find out what they are.