The ALRC reviewed a range of exceptions that concern free-to-air television and radio broadcasting, including the statutory licensing scheme for retransmission of free-to-air broadcasts and other exceptions that refer to the concept of a ‘broadcast’ and ‘broadcasting’. In a changing media environment, distinctions currently made in copyright law between broadcast and other platforms for communication to the public may require justification.
The ALRC suggests approaches to reform of broadcasting exceptions, including changes to the retransmission scheme and the statutory licensing scheme applying to broadcasting of music; and the extension of some other exceptions to the transmission of linear television or radio programs using the internet. These exceptions raise complex questions at the intersection of copyright and communications policy. The Australian Government needs to give further consideration to these issues in developing media and communications policy, in response to media convergence.