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First steps in modernising the copyright framework

The Federal Government has introduced changes to Australia’s copyright laws designed to streamline and simplify the copyright framework for the disability, education, library and archive sectors while respecting the economic and moral interests of copyright holders.

The introduction of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 to Parliament is an important step in simplifying and modernising the Copyright Act 1968, in response to specific challenges and concerns identified by copyright stakeholders and sectors of the community.

Providing greater access to copyright material for persons with disability:

  • Measures have been included to enable people with a disability to enjoy fair access to copyright material in formats suitable for their individual needs.
  • Underscores the Federal Government’s commitment to improving accessibility for persons with a disability following the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Simplifying the preservation of copyright material:

  • Provides easier and simpler rules for libraries, archives and cultural institutions to preserve copyright material, ensuring future generations are able to access important cultural material.

Setting a term of protection for unpublished material:

  • Introduces a term of protection for unpublished material similar to that for published material.
  • Provides libraries, archives and other cultural institutions with greater opportunities to use, and provide public access to, unpublished material.

Streamlining educational licensing provisions:

  • Simpler process for educational institutions and copyright collecting societies to agree on licensing arrangements for the copying and communication of copyright material for educational purposes.

The Bill also enables the law to more flexibly respond to the constant technological changes in the digital age by ensuring that these sectors and the wider Australian community have fair and reasonable access to copyright material.

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