Australia To Explore Adding Greater Copyright Exceptions

from the good-sign dept

While we noted that the entertainment industry was absolutely freaking out over the possibility of greater copyright exceptions (fair use, fair dealing, etc.) in the UK, it's been really encouraging to see significant interest in copyright exceptions elsewhere. In that second link, we talked about efforts down in Australia to get the government to explore greater copyright exceptions as part of the TPP treaty. Perhaps those efforts are having an effect. It appears that the Australian Law Reform Commission is now considering the possibility of expanding the use of copyright exceptions within the law.

The the full document (pdf) notes that it needs to be explored if the existing exceptions are "adequate and appropriate in the digital environment" and if greater exceptions might:
  • facilitate legitimate use of copyright works to create and deliver new products and services of public benefit; and
  • allow legitimate non-commercial use of copyright works for uses on the internet such as social networking.
For those of you who live in Australia, there's an open comment period for what the "terms of reference" for the inquiry should include. You can be absolutely sure that the industry folks will be working hard to stifle copyright exceptions. Hopefully the public's voice -- and the voice of real creators who value and make use of exceptions every day -- will be heard as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 4:14am

    Hopefully this will set a precedent.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 4:40am

    It is hard to think they are actually interested in what would benefit the public. The public is always an afterthought it seems.

    I think it is important for the people to speak out, but they need to stay with it and make sure their voices are heard and matter in the end.

    To often we are handed a chance to speak out and "be heard", and it is just meant to draw the focus there.

    Like during SOPA/PIPA when they were "listening" to the public outcry and made minor changes to "fix it" that did nothing to fix the hugely broken portions. If people just accept they were "heard" and there were "fixes" we'd be screwed today.

    Speak out, and follow through strange upside down people.
    :D

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 4:46am

    It would be useful. When I was last there, I ran into many "you can't do that here" copyright situations that I wouldn't have encountered in some other places. It ended up being a frustrating inconvenience.

     

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    PapaFox (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:12am

    The term of reference - big content has already nobbled the review

    While this review may look promising on the surface, in fact the results of the ALRC's report have been largely dictated by it's terms of reference.

    Big content has succeeded in preventing the ALRC from examining any of the following:

    * unauthorised distribution of copyright materials using peer-to-peer networks;
    * the scope of the safe harbour scheme for ISPs;
    * a review of exceptions in relation to technological protection measures; and
    * increased access to copyright works for blind and visually impaired people.

    There are other existing reviews which cover these topics, and these reviews are not open to public comment. Big content has won big time in the ALRC's review before it has even begun.

    See this article for further details.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Aus isn't exactly well known for allowing people to use copyrighted works under any circumstances. this would be very welcome and hopefully lay foundations for similar laws in other countries. why should any person be able to live off of something for their life time and that living be passed on to family members and last for ever? make no mistake, the copyright industries will be doing their damnedest to lengthen the terms again and again!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:34am

    Since social networking sites are generally commercial in nature, the exemption is silly and self contradicting. Social media is always a commercial use, even if the user doesn't profit from it.

    It's the problem of the internet for the most part - the users may not see the commercial use or benefit, but they do receive benefit (free social networking) and the networking sites make money off the page views that the user's content generates. After all, Facebook is "free", yet they are apparently a billion dollar a year company.

    What Australia is suggesting requuires that you ignore the commercial use of the user generated content, which is unavoidable.

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      Like most people you seem to not understand what commercial use entails.

      Commercial purposes are where the item in question, for example photographs, are used for the specific reason to advertise, promote or market the specific [insert where work is used here].

      Commercial purposes does not mean that if you place a copy of a article, photo, or multimedia item onto a social networking site for the express purpose of personal use to show others what you like, dislike, or otherwise (in fact this is and should be classified as fair use for criticism, both good and bad) where the poster does not financially gain and is not using the work to advertise, market, or promote their goods &/or services.

      Social networking sites are NOT generally commercial in nature for the purpose of promoting the specific individuals usage, page, whatever. They instead promote themselves via the interactions and word of mouth that the users themselves say about the site and do not in any way use the day to day posting of works by their users for commercial purposes.

      There is NO commercial use of generated content by the users, and unless the site itself specifically re-uses the postings explicitly for their own commercial purposes, the work is no, nor should it be classified as, infringing in any way.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        Commercial use INCLUDES being used as part of a commercial venture. IE: If you run an image in a magazine or newspaper, that is a commercial use - even if you don't specificaly use it "to advertise, promote or market the specific" newspaper.

        Social networking sites are as commercial as a newspaper or a magazine. That the content is sourced from the readers rather than an in house staff doesn't really change anything. Your intention as a contributor might not be to make money, but the social media site is there to make money, and they make it off of the content you contribute.

        Facebook is a commercial site. What is on that commercial site should be considered commercial use.

        Otherwise, what's next? A movie social network site, where people upload full copies of copyrighted movies, which are played back for your "friends" on a screen with a bunch of ads, but of course, that isn't commercial right?

        Think man. I know it's hard, but think.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 2:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So basically, you are saying that because I pay my ISP for my connection, everything on the Internet is commercial use.

          Right, got it...

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Otherwise, what's next? A movie social network site, where people upload full copies of copyrighted movies, which are played back for your "friends" on a screen with a bunch of ads, but of course, that isn't commercial right?

          Lets see. I have a friend who creates movies (and therefore OWNS the copyright) for his own amusement and that of his friends, he uploads that to some site that by the way also requires advertisements on the side (unless you use Adblock) and allows his friends (and shock horror maybe the rest of the world) to access that movie.

          According to you this should be an offence because it is somehow being used for commercial gain by the site itself.

          BTW the Site is called youtube, my friend is everyone I subscribe to on there.

          I know it's hard to think of chilling effect's, but please do.

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 12:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Otherwise, what's next? A movie social network site, where people upload full copies of copyrighted movies, which are played back for your "friends" on a screen with a bunch of ads, but of course, that isn't commercial right?

          Lets see. I have a friend who creates movies (and therefore OWNS the copyright) for his own amusement and that of his friends, he uploads that to some site that by the way also requires advertisements on the side (unless you use Adblock) and allows his friends (and shock horror maybe the rest of the world) to access that movie.

          According to you this should be an offence because it is somehow being used for commercial gain by the site itself.

          BTW the site is called youtube, my friend is everyone I subscribe to on there.

          I know it's hard to think of chilling effect's, but please do.

           

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 4:10pm

        Re: Like most people you seem to not understand what commercial use entails.

        Thatís because itís an essentially meaningless concept.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:34am

    I'm Australian and would like to voice my support for this but can't find where to..

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      The ALRC's site is where to find the best information, this includes the Revised Terms of Reference [pdf]
      *

      Submissions and comments on the draft TOR should though be directed to the Attorney-General's Department (not the ALRC), by 27 April 2012 using this page at the AG's site (which also has all links, legislation and address's)

      Also you might want to subscribe (Mike want to as well) to the eNewsletter for the Copyright review found on this page where the twitter hashtag ( #copyrev )and facebook page link can be found as well.

      Remember all submissions will be made public, and keep your comments within the scope of the Terms of Reference only, though you can also add on at end what the next review should also contain as well ;)

       

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        G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 6:16am

        Re: Re:

        For those wondering, the "Convergence Review" talked about in the revised Terms of Service link I posted above is found here with the PDF of the interim report here

        The convergence report is looking at Australiaís media and communication regulations in particular regards to new Digital media. Sort of like, but also different, of reviewing the FDA Rules and Regs (if you are American).

        Page 19 and 21 are probably the best to read (especially the principles on 21)

         

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    Mitchell Featherston, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Backdoor...

    Looking at this set of exceptions it brings up a potentially interesting way to loosen the grip of our US Copyright system. Basically allowing non-commercial uses of works is a gigantic move. of course, we would need to spell out what that means, but the concept is amazing. Imagine applying the same fair use right to copy a legally purchased CD, turning them into MP3's or whatever... imagine that being applied to Blu-ray content, to material you have on your DVR, etc.

    I think at the core of this type of idea is that copyright holders, in the future, may not be able to rely on monetizing EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION of their material... like it or not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Now we need this kind of thing for New Zealand.

    We have the three-strikes thing, why isn't this being reported on at all?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 5:59pm

    Of course we all know that at least one nobody from Australia will be sorely disapproving of all this.

     

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    identicon
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