Use of ‘broadcast’ in copyright exceptions

19.16 A number of exceptions in the Copyright Act use the terms ‘broadcast’, ‘broadcasting’ or ‘broadcaster’. These exceptions include those concerning time shifting and retransmission of free-to-air broadcasts, which are discussed separately elsewhere in this Report.[10] Other exceptions that refer to the concept of a broadcast include those providing for unremunerated exceptions[11] and for remunerated use, subject to statutory licensing.[12]

19.17 Distinctions currently made in copyright law between broadcast and other platforms may be increasingly difficult to justify in a changing media environment. In particular, television and radio content is increasingly made available on the internet.[13]

19.18 A 2012 Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report highlighted growth in the availability of commercially-developed video content over the internet.[14] This includes: catch-up television offered by free-to-air broadcasters on an ‘over the top’ basis,[15] enabling viewers to access recently aired shows via the internet; high-end internet protocol television (IPTV) services providing users with access to video content on a subscription or fee-per-view basis provided by internet service providers; and ‘over the top’ content services offered direct from the content provider to the consumer.[16]

19.19 The ways in which consumers can access video content, including IPTV services, are expanding and the rollout of the National Broadband Network is likely to provide significant additional stimulus to the supply and take up of online content.[17]

19.20 More generally, the ACMA has identified that the historical distinctions between radio communications, telecommunications, broadcasting and the internet are breaking down:

digitisation of content, as well as standards and technologies for the carriage and display of digital content, are blurring the traditional distinctions between broadcasting and other media across all elements of the supply chain, for content generation, aggregation, distribution and audiences.[18]