19.1 In addition to the retransmission scheme discussed in Chapter 18, a number of other exceptions in the Copyright Act refer to the concept of a ‘broadcast’ and ‘broadcasting’. These exceptions are referred to in this chapter as the ‘broadcast exceptions’.

19.2 The broadcast exceptions include those operating to provide exceptions for persons engaged in making broadcasts (such as free-to-air broadcasters); and others operating to provide exceptions for persons receiving, communicating or making copies of broadcasts (such as educational institutions).

19.3 In a changing media environment, distinctions currently made in copyright law between broadcast and other platforms for communication to the public require justification. Innovation in the digital economy is more likely to be promoted by copyright provisions that are technologically neutral.

19.4 The ALRC has closely considered whether the Copyright Act should be amended to ensure that broadcast exceptions also apply to the transmission of television or radio programs using the internet. However, given the many different exceptions and important differences between broadcast and other forms of communication, recommending any blanket reform is not an option.

19.5 In some cases, moreover, technological neutrality may best be achieved by removing exceptions that apply only to broadcast. That is, some broadcast exceptions may be able to be repealed on the basis that the relevant uses are likely to be covered by the recommended new fair use or fair dealing exceptions, or are amenable to voluntary licensing.

19.6 The extension of some statutory licensing schemes to the transmission of linear programmed television or radio content using the internet should also be considered, to ensure the licences continue to serve their purpose in an era of media convergence.

19.7 The ALRC recommends that, in developing media and communications policy, and in responding to media convergence, the Australian Government give further consideration to these issues.