The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been directed by the government to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and the major digital platforms, Google and Facebook. On 19 May 2020 the ACCC released a Concepts Paper, seeking feedback on options to meet the government’s call.
Importantly, both the government and the ACCC have emphasised that the code will operate in the competition space, and should not impact Australian copyright law.
The ADA provided a submission on the Concepts paper agreeing that it is essential that the proposed mandatory code not have unintended impacts on Australian copyright law or the rights of Australians to share and make use of news under that law.
To avoid unintended impacts on copyright we urged the ACCC to to ensure that any code:
- avoids language linked to copyright;
- uses a narrow definition of news;
- is limited to specific services;
- does not involve a copyright collecting society;
- avoids adopting undesirable elements of our existing copyright collective licensing schemes;
- includes good faith negotiation requirements; and
- separates any remuneration from assertions of copyright.