Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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PwC report on copyright changes submitted to PC review

A PwC report looking at the costs and benefits of changing Australian copyright law from ‘fair dealing’ to the US-style ‘fair use’ model has been submitted to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements.

The report, which was commissioned by a group of media companies, content organisations and industry bodies, was submitted on 15 February and is available on the inquiry’s submissions page.

The report found that introducing US-style fair use would cost $1.3b due to the collapse of creative companies and increased legal and litigation costs. The commission’s review is looking at the costs and benefits of shifting to such a model.

The report refers to the introduction of new copyright laws similar to US fair use in Canada, which meant schools and universities stopped taking out licenses for the content they use. The change resulted in the closure of a number of publishers and their operations in the Canadian market, including Oxford University Press.

The report also estimated litigation costs rising from $26.6m to $133m annually, a reduction in incentives for professional creators of original copyright works, reduced production of original Australian works, and increased transaction costs from reduced economies of scale for collecting societies. The report found no evidence to support offset benefits to those losses.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, publishers and other book industry groups detailed their objections to a proposed repeal of parallel importation restrictions (PIRs) in their submissions to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry.


Category: Local news