Submission to DFAT on the Australia–European Union Free Trade Agreement

In negotiating the AEUFTA Australia should the Australian government should avoid changing our law and locking us into prescriptive outcomes.

The ADA believes that the primary goal of the government in approaching the IP chapter of the Australian–European Union Free Trade Agreement (AEUFTA) should be to avoid any agreement that would require Australia to change its copyright law, or that would “lock in” our laws and prevent sensible changes in response to future technological and cultural change.

The draft EU IP chapter that has been publicly released is a good starting point for negotiations, as it is not overly prescriptive and would not require many significant changes to Australian legislation. However, the government should negotiate text that may require changes to Australian law in relation to term of protection, parallel importation, and rental rights for works. The ADA welcomes the increased transparency of the AEUFTA process, and urge Australia to adopt the EU policy of releasing chapter proposals during the negotiation.