Posts Tagged ‘agenda’

Copyright reform agenda

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The Commonwealth Attorney General’s opening address to the Blue Skies conference is here.

Some excerpts:

International reforms:

While recognising that the challenges of the digital era are a global, not just national, issue, the Attorney General identified access to cultural works by the visually impaired as an area for early action:

An example of one area in which I am particularly keen to see a result this year in the international arena is overcoming copyright barriers for visually impaired people in accessing copyright works in suitable formats. I understand that internationally, only five per cent of all works are available in accessible formats for the visually impaired.  This is an unacceptable statistic and an acute problem for developing countries.

If there were hisses and boos from the audience, let’s hope it was for the right reasons!

On the domestic front:

  • a straight bat played to yesterday’s iiNet decision
  • a consultation paper will be released soon on who should be the beneficiaries of the ‘safe harbour‘ regimes, currently limited to the indecipherable “carriage service providers

For example, the definition excludes entities that do not provide network access but provide online services – Google and Yahoo are obvious examples of this category.

(That is the Attorney General’s example, not mine.)

  • possible introduction of a new “ad hoc” exemption to the technological protection measures (see e.g. s 116AN(9))

The Copyright Advisory Group has approached me for an additional exception to allow circumvention of technological protection measures for certain education purposes.

In particular they have sought an exception that would allow schools to change the format of films from DVD to MP4 for teaching purposes.

It would seem that what is to be referred still involves considerable clarification. One area flagged:

I believe there would be merit in examining some exceptions under our law in the context of the online environment and whether the correct balance exists.

Another which the ALRC will not be allowed to cut across:

It will be important to not duplicate work undertaken by Government on various policy issues, or in the course of related reviews -for example the Government’s Convergence Review.

So, it seems the Convergence Review will not just be “regulatory”.

Lid dip: Jane Treleaven

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Copyright Agenda

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

The Attorney General opened the Copyright Futures conference in Canberra yesterday.

As part of his speech he mentioned that last week he held a roundtable forum with ‘about 30 of the key representative groups’.

Wonder what that was about? According to the Attorney-General, some of the emerging themes were:

  • whether the Government would benefit from an independent source of advice in addition to my Department, especially for technology and competition issues 
  • access to justice considerations for individual creators and also the effectiveness of the Copyright Tribunal
  • addressing piracy in the online environment
  • the roles and responsibilities of declared collecting societies
  • whether there should be new rights for visual artists, indigenous creators  and audio-visual performers
  • the relationship between copyright and contract law, and
  • whether there should be new exceptions to allow greater access to copyright materials.

Then, he identified the Government’s agenda:

These include the issues of resale royalty legislation for visual artists and the review of restrictions on the parallel importation of books. 

I am also evaluating proposals on the use of internet material by educational institutions, the role of Internet Service Providers in relation to online infringements, and appropriate enforcement of intellectual property crimes.

There is also the push for Governments to consider how to enhance access to and re-use Government information.

(Of course, in the best traditions, the printed speech is followed by a copyright warning notice.)

The speech is online here.

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Australian on top

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

On 22 September, Dr Francis Gurry’s election as the next Director General of WIPO was unanimously confirmed by the General Assembly.  His term starts on 1 October.  His appointment runs until 2014.

WIPO Press Release here.  Dr Gurry’s acceptance speech and his plans here.

Congratulations, Dr Gurry!

Brazil apparently took the opportunity to point out that one of the challenges lying ahead is centralising control over enforcement issues.  For this and a summary of events see William New at Intellectual Property Watch.

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