Australia To Propose Copyright Reform That Includes Fair Use

from the good-move dept

Last year, we noted that Australia was beginning the process of copyright reform, and it appeared that the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) was asking the right kinds of questions. Among the major concerns that some commenters raised was the lack of fair use under Australian copyright law. When a similar process took place in the UK, it was decided not to try to add fair use to UK law. The entertainment industry argued, ridiculously, that fair use would lead to too much litigation.

Thankfully, it appears that Australia is willing to go that extra step. There was apparently a meeting held yesterday by the Australian Law Reform Commission, in which they revealed some of the proposed reforms, which were to be officially released in a paper at the end of May. We’ve heard from some people who attended that the information revealed in the meeting was supposed to be kept secret, but it appears that the Australian Law Library Association jumped the gun with some thankfully revealing tweets.

The key tweet is the one that reveals the ALRC will be recommending fair use be added Down Under. This is big and excellent news. Of course, now watch closely as the legacy entertainment industry throws a complete hissy fit about how awful fair use will be in Australia. Stay tuned…

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Comments on “Australia To Propose Copyright Reform That Includes Fair Use”

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out_of_the_blue says:

WILL "lead to too much litigation." Dead cert.

Think we all can agree on that, except that Mike’s fetish for lawyering may lead him to believe there’s never “too much litigation”.

But at least for once Mike ends the week on a hopeful note.

Dull week otherwise. Mike as usual “supporting copyright” by tearing at it from every angle with tenuous connection that he can conjure up, while ignoring HUGE events such as banksters looting Cyprus in their trial run for doing it everywhere. The Minions with even more trivial pieces. Usual ankle-biters yapping their heads off with cliches and lies for ad hom. Usual fanboys clicking to try and hide comments. — All reasons why I delight in commenting here: such fit targets.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Techdirt. It’s where the wrongness is.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: WILL "lead to too much litigation." Dead cert.

You seem to have this misunderstanding that being litigious at all costs is how the rest of the world functions.

Let me tell you a little secret.. THEY DONT! In fact the litigation reforms in places like Australia (which aren’t really reforms since we have had them for over a quarter century now) mean that if some content owner tries to litigate they better have a good case because if the lose they HAVE TO PAY. Yes Loser pays here.. WOOT! It’s like an ANTI-SLAP legislation without their having to be a specific legislation and application of it.

So NO.. there will not be any more or less litigation with a ‘fair use’ defence within Australia.

As for the rest of your blathering in the last paragraph… have you ever thought of Stress Management or Cognitive Based Training or even alcohol – it might help the voices

anonymouse says:


They know that if they do not start making the law relevant people will just continue to ignore it, if they throw in a few things to show they are providing something for nothing they will then have a much better chance at having people supporting them in fighting piracy.
Yet they will fight this and it will probably be watered down so much it will become irrelevant and people will continue ignoring the copyright laws.When are they going to learn that a bad law is ignored by the majority and nothing will change that until they make the law look at least partial in the consumers interest.

gab4moi (profile) says:

fair use downunda... yeah, right...

Given that the Aussie version of your Republicans, the Liberal/National coalition, will probably be in power before the end of the year, due to Labors almost comical incompetence, this initiative would be dead in the water, they are not influenced by lobbyists, they ARE lobbyists, for the rich and powerful. They have already flagged gutting Labors fttp national broadband network with a tinpot fttn fraudband, their views on copyright would be feed the ancient gatekeepers as much krill as they can sweep down into their bloated guts.

ralph says:

Australia seems more civilized and progressive than the UK or the USA. This is ironic given that the modern-day version started as a penal colony.

In the UK we seem to have judges deciding to pull websites without due process, and in the USA an eager collaboration between the government and Hollywood to suspend the US Constitution.

Who are the real criminals?

Ninja (profile) says:

If it leads to excessive litigation it’ll be the legislators fault. If a law is well written in a way that it narrows space for interpretation (let’s leave the secret ones out please) it may spark some litigation at first but as time goes by the morons at the MAFIAA will realize what’s covered under fair use and get more cautious before filling lawsuits.

Michael W. Perry (user link) says:

Thanks Australia

Many thanks to Australia for taking on this topic and, in particular, moving to incorporate fair use, a mostly-U.S. concept that’s very useful.

We’re about 30 years overdue for a revision. Copyright laws around the world (including Berne) have seen little or no revision since the 1970s, which means they have nothing to say about the Internet or digital media.

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