Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ACTA and Larrikin

Two important developments in Australian Copyright issues this week with the signing of ACTA and a High Court determination with respect to the Larrikin Music Publishing case.

The ACTA agreement was signed in Japan this week - Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea all signed on. The agreement does not, as originally intended, force countries to introduce a three strikes or graduated response scheme. It does however ensure that circumvention devices are illegal and further reinforces seizure and forfeiture laws with respect to counterfeit and pirated works and requires open ended damages awards for copyright infringement.There is not likely much change in the law required in Australia so the signing of the agreement is not that much of a problem - the agreement was significantly worse in its original form and has undergone significant changes over the three years it has been negotiated.

In other news the High Court of Australia has refused to hear an appeal in the Larrikin Music Publishing case leaving the Full Court of the Federal Court ruling in place that Men at Work infringed the copyright in the Kookaburra song. This is a disappointing outcome with the case a perfect example as to why fair dealing is a narrow and inflexible approach to sampling. I have previously written about the case here.

Further Reading
ArsTechnica, US signs ACTA (6 October 2011) < http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/us-signs-international-anti-piracy-accord.ars > at 11 October 2011

TechDirt, As Countries Sign ACTA, Many Finally Admit Their Copyright Laws Will Need To Change (3 October 2011) < http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111002/22262616174/as-countries-sign-acta-many-finally-admit-their-copyright-laws-will-need-to-change.shtml > at 11 October 2011

TechDirt, Insanity: Men At Work Lose Final Appeal For Using Brief Riff Of Classic Folks Song, Which Went Unnoticed For Decades (7 October 2011) < http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111007/14211416254/insanity-men-work-lose-final-appeal-using-brief-riff-classic-folks-song-which-went-unnoticed-decades.shtml > at 11 October 2011

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