The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has welcomed the release of the Copyright and the Digital Economy discussion paper by the Australian Law Reform Commission.
The discussion paper is aimed at making Australia’s copyright regime more flexible and adaptable. It contains a number of questions and proposals regarding reform of the Copyright Act, including the introduction of a broad, flexible exception for fair use of copyright material and simplification of many of the current exceptions.
“The IIA has long supported a more open-ended fair use copyright framework and one that simplifies the current regime and adapts our legislation to the demands of the digital age,” said IIA chief executive, Peter Lee.
“In our view the alternative model proposed, should fair use not be enacted, a model that suggests the addition of new fair dealing exceptions, would be less flexible and miss an opportunity of taking Australia’s copyright regime into the 21st Century.”
The Australian Law Reform Commission has suggested five framing principles for this Inquiry -- acknowledging and respecting authorship and creation; maintaining incentives for creation of works and other subject matter; promoting fair access to and wide dissemination of content; providing rules that are flexible and adaptive to new technologies; and providing rules that are consistent with Australia’s international obligations. Any recommendations the ALRC finally makes will be weighed against these principles.
“While the IIA is supportive of the overarching principles and many of the proposals put forward by the Commission, there are some areas in relation to broadcasting and the use and applicability of the proposals to Cloud-based services that we will be looking at more closely and responding to in our submission,” Lee said.
The closing date for submissions to the Discussion Paper is 31 July 2013, with the final report due to be delivered to the attorney-general of Australia by 30 November 2013.