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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Filed Under: australia, copyright, fair use

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  1. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 9 Aug 2013 @ 12:14pm


    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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