Copyright enews | Issue 5

Issue 5 | January 2013.  View original format.


Happy new year to our copyright subscribers! At final count, the ALRC received 283 public submissions in response to the Issues Paper (released 20 August 2012), and each is published on the ALRC website. We are very grateful to stakeholders for their generosity and time in responding to our questions.

Submissions contain a wide range of views: some very polarised, many providing constructive information and evidence. There is overall agreement with the policy parameters outlined in the Issues Paper, with a few suggestions for alteration or addition. Many submissions said that it is essential that the ALRC remember the important role copyright law plays in rewarding creators and giving them an incentive to create.

There has been a high level of interest in the submissions, with commentary in mainstream media, alternative media, blogs and on Twitter, and a large amount of traffic to the submissions page on the ALRC website.

Submissions include those from:

  • Academics (individuals and groups)
  • Creators and organisations (authors, directors, photographers and others)
  • Education sector
  • GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums)
  • Government entities (including the ACCC, ACMA and IP Australia, as well as various state governments and authorities)
  • Media/broadcasting/other content organisations and industry bodies
  • Music organisations
  • Online service providers
  • Publishers and publisher organisations
  • Rights management organisations

A number of submissions note that our inquiry does not look at some important issues of concern to content owners, such as piracy and enforcement, intermediary liability and technological protection measures. These are outside our Terms of Reference, but naturally the ALRC is watching for any developments in these crucial areas with interest.

What’s next?

From February we will begin a fresh round of consultations—including roundtables with a range of stakeholders on developments in law and technology and international comparisons— while reference groups of content owners, collecting societies, business interest groups, creators, the GLAM sector and others are being planned in order to provide the widest possible input. Together with the submissions already received, these consultations will feed into the Discussion Paper, planned for the end of May/early June 2013. The Discussion Paper will canvass possibilities for reforms to the Copyright Act, if any, and allow more focussed discussions with stakeholders. We will, at that time, also call for a second round of submissions.

Further afield

International developments concerning copyright law and reviews continue to emerge as the ALRC Inquiry progresses. Recent news includes the UK Government final response to the Hargreaves Report and the announcement of a review and update of EU copyright law. A review of orphan works and copyright is taking place in the US, and WIPO is using YouTube to discuss intellectual property rights.

Interns on the Copyright inquiry

In the second week of January we were delighted to welcome three interns from Harvard: Will Brien, Emma Raviv and Michael Springer. Over the past three weeks they have worked with the Copyright team to assist with analysis of the submissions and develop some themes emerging from the many contributions from stakeholders. We thank them for their work.

Applications for the Semester 1 (part-time) intern program are now open. Domestic law students with a particular interest in the Copyright inquiry should get their applications to us by 11 February 2013. For insight into what it is like to be an intern on the Copyright inquiry listen to Max Bulinski, from the University of Michigan, talk about his time with the ALRC last year.

See selection criteria for interns >>