Saturday, June 30, 2012

ALRC Terms of Reference for Copyright Law

Yesterday the Australian Attorney General, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, released the final Terms of Reference for the Australian Law Reform Commission's review of copyright law in the digital age. The Terms of Reference are as follows:

Having regard to:
  • the objective of copyright law in providing an incentive to create and disseminate original copyright materials;
  • the general interest of Australians to access, use and interact with content in the advancement of education, research and culture;
  • the importance of the digital economy and the opportunities for innovation leading to national economic and cultural development created by the emergence of new digital technologies; and
  • Australia’s international obligations, international developments and previous copyright reviews.
I refer to the ALRC for inquiry and report pursuant to subsection 20(1) of the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 the matter of whether the exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968, are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment.
Amongst other things, the ALRC is to consider whether existing exceptions are appropriate and whether further exceptions should:
  • recognise fair use of copyright material;
  • allow transformative, innovative and collaborative use of copyright materials to create and deliver new products and services of public benefit; and
  • allow appropriate access, use, interaction and production of copyright material online for social, private or domestic purposes.
The ALRC plans to release an Issues Paper in August 2012, and at this time will call for submissions. The ALRC is due to provide a Final Report with recommendations for reform by November 2013.

The Attorney-General's Department has also announced a second inquiry into Technological Protection Measures (DRM). The inquiry will consider the exceptions for circumventing TPMs. Initial submissions are due 17 August 2012 - you can find out more information about it here.

Further Information
ALRC, Terms of Reference Received for the ALRC Copyright Inquiry (29 June 2012) < > at 30 June 2012

ALRC, Terms of Reference, ALRC (29 June 2012) < >  at 30 June 2012

Australian Copyright Council, Government releases final ALRC terms of reference and announces review of TPMs (29 June 2012) < > at 30 June 2012

Attorney Generals Department, Review of Technological Protection Measure exceptions made under the Copyright Act 1968 (29 June 2012) < > at 30 June 2012

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