17.1 This chapter discusses exceptions to copyright for computer programs and the need for an exception for backing-up all types of copyright material.

17.2 The use of legally-acquired copyright material—including films, music, ebooks and computer programs—for the purpose of back-up and data recovery should be considered under the fair use exception. For the exception to apply, making back-up copies must be fair, having regard to, among other factors, harm to rights holders’ markets. The ALRC considers that such uses are likely to be found to be fair.

17.3 If fair use is enacted, there may also be a case for repealing or amending the existing exceptions for computer programs. However, further consultation should be conducted before repealing these exceptions.