Your say

In this forum we would like to get views on what you think is fair and not fair when it comes to using other people's content and copyright material, and for what purposes. We particularly want to hear from individuals who may not make a formal submission, including creators and users of copyright material.

Moderation policy and process

We want to facilitate a conversation where people feel safe expressing different views. Please be polite and respectful at all times. Comments that breach ALRC Participation Protocols will not be published. Comments will be moderated, so there may be a delay between submission and publication of comments. This delay will be longer outside of normal working hours.

Commenting on this forum closed on Wednesday 24 July 2013.



In its recent Discussion Paper, the ALRC proposed that Australian copyright law should contain a “fair use” provision. This would allow people to use copyright material without getting permission from the rights holders, as long as the use is "fair".

Whether use is “fair” or not is determined on a case by case basis. It is not usually fair to use something that you can buy, or to use too much, or to use something that might discourage others from buying it. Most fair use provisions around the world list the same four fairness factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the use (eg, is it for commercial use? for educational purposes? news reporting? etc.)
  2. The nature of the copyright material used (eg, does it list or describe factual information, or is it highly creative?)
  3. The amount and substantiality of the material used
  4. The effect on the potential market for or value of the material

The ALRC has also proposed including in the Copyright Act a list of broad categories of purposes— “illustrative purposes” —that might be considered fair use. The fact that a particular use falls into one of the categories does not necessarily mean it is fair: it simply means it is more likely to be considered fair use than others. In each instance the four fairness factors must be considered. The ALRC has proposed that the list of illustrative purposes should include:

  1. research or study;
  2. criticism or review;
  3. parody or satire;
  4. reporting news;
  5. non-consumptive;
  6. private and domestic;
  7. quotation;
  8. education; and
  9. public administration.

Commenting on this forum closed on Wednesday 24 July 2013.