Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

PwC report advises against changes to copyright law; inquiry submissions published

A PwC report, commissioned for the Productivity Commission’s intellectual property review, has advised against changing Australian copyright law to the US-style ‘fair use’ approach, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The Productivity Commission is currently undertaking a 12-month inquiry into Australian copyright law, including the possibility of changing Australian copyright law from the ‘fair dealing’ to the US-style ‘fair use’ model.

The PwC report, which was commissioned by a group of media companies, content organisations and industry bodies for their submissions to the Productivity Commission’s review, has found that changing Australia’s copyright system would incur a significant cost with no evidence it would boost economic activity.

The Copyright Agency is opposed to the fair use model, arguing it will reduce local content production and increase legal uncertainty.

‘We support sensible reforms to the Copyright Act. However we, along with all major content producers and very large numbers of Australian writers and artists, do not support adopting American-style fair use,’ said Copyright Agency chief executive Adam Suckling.

‘As the Canadian experience has shown, this sort of approach has massively increased legal uncertainty, allowed large wealthy education enterprises to refuse to pay publishers and authors for using their work and it has also led to the closure of many Canadian publishing operations. Australian education publishers could not continue to produce the same level of quality Australian education material for Australian students without payment from schools and universities for use of this material,’ said Suckling.

Submissions to the intellectual property review were due by 30 November and are available here, including submissions from the Copyright Agency, the Australian Publishers Association and publishers Cambridge University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, Macmillan Science and Education, Hachette, HarperCollins, Black Inc., UNSW Press and Spinifex Press.

A final report is due in August 2016.



Category: Local news