The Australian Government has announced the introduction of the Copyright Amendment (Disability and Other Measures) Bill into Parliament. This Bill includes important amendments to streamline the educational statutory licences and library exceptions, as well as amendments to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in Australia. In this regard, Copyright Agency, our Australian RRO member, said to be pleased with the introduced provisions, and released an statement, which can be read here (PDF).
The introduction of the Bill follows release of an exposure draft in December 2015. The Australian Copyright Council’s comments on the exposure draft are available here, while the Department of Communications and the Arts will make submissions available here.
The Government estimates that there is broad support for the proposed amendments amongst copyright stakeholders as the Bill provides an important opportunity to restore goodwill following on from the divisiveness of the Productivity Commission’s pronouncements on IP Arrangements. The Australian Copyright Council announced that they will look at the Bill closely to ensure that there are no technical issues in the drafting. It is important to highlight that the controversial safe harbour amendments have been excluded from the Bill.
Finally, the government expressed their willingness to work with other stakeholders to address service provider liability for copyright infringing material on their networks and to finding practical solutions to address other outstanding copyright issues.