14.85 One objection to fairness exceptions for education is that teachers may not have the time or expertise to determine whether particular uses are fair. The Australian Education Union submitted:
Teachers simply cannot be expected to navigate such a ‘flexible’ and complex legal area. The flexibility and complexity may simply serve to increase doubt and angst for teachers about the use of copyright material.
14.86 The publisher Allen & Unwin submitted that teachers may mistakenly believe that using copyright material for education should be free because education has a public value and is often not-for-profit. They also doubted whether teachers would be ‘in a position to reliably assess the market impact of their copying as fair use requires’.
14.87 In the ALRC’s view, guidelines should play an important part in providing this necessary help and certainty for teachers. The education sector has said that teachers and other educators are already given copyright guidelines, and that new guidelines for fair use would be produced if fair use were enacted. The ALRC considers that teachers will find it easier to apply fair use than Australia’s current complex range of specific exceptions.