Australian Copyright Industry Says Proposal To Bring In Fair Use Is 'Solution For Problem That Doesn't Exist'

from the what-planet-are-they-on? dept

A couple of months back, Techdirt wrote about Australia's proposals to shift from the current fair dealing approach to fair use as part of wide-ranging reform of copyright there. When something similar was mooted in the UK as part of what became the Hargreaves Review, it was shouted down by the copyright maximalists on the grounds that it would lead to widespread litigation. As Mike pointed out at the time, that's nonsense: the existence of a large body of US case law dealing with this area makes it much easier to bring in fair use without the need for its contours to be defined in the courts.

Well, guess what? The Australian copyright industry is using exactly the same logic to attack fair use, as this story in IT News reports:

The Australian Home Entertainment Distributor's Association (AHEDA) savaged the [Australian Law Reform Commission] in a submission paper rebutting a proposal to introduce fair use provisions to intellectual property laws.

The fair use proposal was outlined in a discussion paper the ALRC released last August.

AHEDA chief executive Simon Bush said a regime based on fair use would lead to an increase in piracy and require litigation to be defined.
As well as regurgitating the weak argument used in the UK two years ago, there's this incredible comment about fair use:
"It's a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist," Bush said.
What, apart from the problem that people going about their daily lives typically infringe on copyright to the tune of millions of dollars each day? Or that startups are held back from creating new services and products involving online content for fear that they will get sued? Or the problem that scholars are worried they will be taken to court if they carry out text and data mining on academic papers? Apart from those problems, you mean?

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    No Glyn, in MAFIAAland such problems don't exist in fact. They have a collective mental issue that keeps them stubbornly stuck in denial.

    Sadly instead of listening to the artists and the public the Governments insist in listening to those morons when legislating.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 4:31am

    Re:

    "Governments insist in listening"

    The money helps the government listen ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 4:35am

    The study was commissioned by the Australian government due to the inflated costs of products sold to us by companies that are in the US, and then using the double dutch irish sandwich to avoid paying their share of taxes. The Australian government has already used the study to cut $60 Million AUD from their IT costs.

     

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  4.  
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    Rich Fiscus (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    "It's a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist," Bush said.

    Translation: It's a problem I don't have.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 5:09am

    "The Australian copyright industry is using exactly the same logic ..."

    or lack thereof

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Without addressing the merits of a change from one system to another, to use the US as a baseline is completely off the mark for any number of reasons, but the most important one being that our system of law is premised on concepts alien to that which forms the system of law comprising the UK and its former colonies. This is a classic "square peg, meet round hole". Yes, there are many similarities that for the most part derive from English common law (and a few statutes thrown in to boot for good measure), but our Constitution(s), federal and state, represent an incredibly important departure from what was borrowed.

     

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  7.  
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    Michael, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    chief executive Simon Bush said a regime based on fair use would lead to an increase in piracy and require litigation to be defined

    Don't lawyers need jobs too?

     

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  8.  
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    Matthew Sag, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:10am

    Re: Australia, the US and Fair Use

    As an australian educated US copyright academic I feel I know a bit about this issue. Australia is different to the US in many ways, but less so than Louisiana is to California. Fair use began with judicial interpretation of the Statute of Anne in the early 1700's. It is a fundamentally english common law approach. It is just the the UK and the colonies lost their way about 100 years ago and began interpreting 'fair dealing' quite narrowly. Fair use will work in Australia, it will certainly work better than the current system. Fair use won't encourage copyright infringement, it will take away some of the easy pretexts people use to justify their infringement. If you want to know more, read The Fair Use Doctrine in the United States A Response to the Kernochan Report, by Gwen Hinze, Peter A. Jaszi and Matthew Sag (me) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2298833

     

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  9.  
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    Paul, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    Re: Don't lawyers need jobs too?

    Going on with what Shakespeare suggested, all Lawyers need to be killed, not employed.

     

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  10.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:17am

    "What, apart from the problem that people going about their daily lives typically infringe on copyright to the tune of millions of dollars each day?"

    Which doesn't happen in the U.S. because of fair use? The practical difference between fair use and fair dealing is pretty negligable.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:27am

    As well as regurgitating the weak argument used in the UK two years ago to justify copyright maximalism, there's this incredible confession about copyright:

    "It's a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist," Bush said, "we don't need copyrights, we never have".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    did anyone expect anything other than pure horse shit from these fucktards? there is no problem for them because they shut every flaming thing down that they dont like. it doesn't need to belong to them or be infringing in any way. if they dont like it or someone is making money from something and they are not, it has to be removed!!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Australia, the US and Fair Use

    Like you, I have read every fair use decision that has come to my attention since 1978...but my initial copies were advance sheets. ;) (This is meant to be humorous, and not even a hint of a suggestion/intent that having been in the trenches since the Copyright Act of 1976 was enacted confers some special insight not apparent to others.)

    Merely FYI, I happen to be one of the few who subscribe to the belief that the basic structure of the 1909 Act should not have been relegated to the trash bin of US legal history in order to adopt then existing international principles. We are paying a dear price for having done so.

     

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  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Copyright

    Copyright is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    FTFY

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    So were lasers and look how common they are these days.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    This is a classic "square peg, meet round hole".

    You keep claiming that. You claimed it on the last post where we discussed this, but you have failed to back that up. As Matthew Sag and others have shown, that's complete hogwash.

     

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  17.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    What problems?

    What, apart from the problem that people going about their daily lives typically infringe on copyright to the tune of millions of dollars each day? Or that startups are held back from creating new services and products involving online content for fear that they will get sued? Or the problem that scholars are worried they will be taken to court if they carry out text and data mining on academic papers?


    Your mistake is thinking that the AHEDA believes these are "problems." From their point of view, these are potential income streams.

    I also love the idiocy of this statement from Bush:
    any policy proposal that says you need to litigate is flawed.

    What, pray tell, are they doing now?

     

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  18.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    What they really mean by this statement is that they would like the litigation method in Australia that is LOSER PAYS and that Procedural Fairness (Natural justice) is paramount to be removed so that they can have the exact system as the USA where the poor smuck who's accused pays whether they win or lose and the onus is on the defendant to prove a negative.

    Luckily that wont happen and dickheads like Simon Bush who's basically like AFACT a puppet of US interests are just pissing up a rope.. The ALRC recommendations like the recommendations of the Price Commission just recently are not going to be well liked AT ALL by the copyright maximists.

    The Government at the moment (all parties) are more concerned with the Federal election called for early September than with what Simon is now spouting on about. It's probably not a good time to try to lobby for an Association who it has been shown has members who agree with the price gouging that over 85% of Australians think should be highly legislated against.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Apparently a fundamental right that explicitly serves as a substantial limitation on Congress' Article 1 powers is of no moment when discussing the export of US law to a jurisdiction that does not to my knowledge have such an express constitutional limitation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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