Feeds

Copyright reforms strike a balance in Oz

Fairer for users but tougher on pirates

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Australian Government has announced it will introduce major changes to the Australian Copyright Act.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the reforms would make laws fairer for consumers and tougher on copyright pirates.

"Copyright is important and should be respected," Mr Ruddock said. "That is why the Government is updating our laws to keep pace with technology."

"Everyday consumers shouldn’t be treated like copyright pirates. Copyright pirates should be not treated like everyday consumers."

Changes to the law include legalising time shifting and format shifting, allowing consumers to:

  • Copy music, newspapers and books from 'personal collections' onto iPods and mp3 players.
  • Record TV and radio programs to 'time shift' once at a later time. This exception will not allow a recording to be used over and over again or be distributed to others.
  • Schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions will be free to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.
  • New exceptions will be created for people with disabilities to allow access to copyright materials.
  • Copyrighted material will be available for use for parody or satire.

However, the amendments will also increase surveillance, fines and damages for internet piracy (file sharing) including on the spot fines, proceeds of crime remedies, and a change in presumptions in litigation to make it easier to establish copyright piracy – for large scale piracy the content owners may no longer have to establish each breach of copyright law.

They will also remove the one per cent cap on the royalties paid by broadcasters to record companies, allowing record companies to negotiate the terms on which music can be played on the radio (good luck public radio).

The format shifting provisions do not include a general right to make back up copies, any new copy must be in a new format. They do not apply to computer programs. Further more, on the sale of the original item, all other copies must be deleted.

For the time being it will still be illegal to format shift audio visual material. This will be reviewed in two years’ time and a decision made then as to whether the scope can be expanded to digital audio visual materials in a way which complies with international obligations.

In relation to DRM: "The Government is still considering this issue of copy protection."

Research will be undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology on the nature and the extent of piracy and counterfeiting in Australia and how best to respond to the problem.

A draft exposure bill will be released soon to enable further consultation with stakeholders.

View the press release here

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.