Online infringement hurts: interviews with Australian creators

Australian creators have been severely affected both financially and creatively by the widespread use of digital distribution models according to research by Melissa de Zwart, Professor, Adelaide Law School at University of Adelaide. Professor Zwart conducted interviews with a variety of creators in late 2014 about their attitudes to copyright and digital distribution.

She found that, while creators have been prepared to engage with various new models of distribution, such as Spotify and Flickr, they still encounter widespread unauthorised digital copying of their material. The research is presented in an article in The Conversation.

The “safe harbour” regime – a compromise solution introduced in the US to limit the financial liability of online service providers for the illegal postings of their users – resulted in the development of the notice and take-down model of content management. This “post first and ask questions later” model facilitated the massive growth of the businesses such as YouTube. In turn, this fostered the emergence of remix culture and globally distributed user-generated content.

It was clear from the research that Australian creative people are under financial pressure and that this is affecting their capacity to create.