The Greens have moved to bring common sense and fairness to copyright law with the introduction of the Copyright Legislation Amendment (Fair Go for Fair Use) Bill by communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.
"Public submissions on our Bill open today. Central to our reforms is the introduction of a ‘fair use' provision. It will make the Copyright Act properly reflect the legitimate expectations of consumers by promoting innovation and fair access to archives and other information stores of public interest," said Senator Ludlam.
"Under the current arcane copyright laws, schools, universities and ISPs can face legal sanctions if end users infringe copyright law while using their services. This sledgehammer approach drags innocent organisations into strife, fostering onerous micromanagement of users that is detrimental to institutions and individuals alike.
"This Bill removes obstacles for blind and visually impaired Australians accessing published works in formats such as Braille, large print text and audio books - harmonising Australian law with the treaty agreed yesterday in Marrakesh.*
"Many Australians are furious about paying up to 70% more than overseas consumers for music, films, software and hardware. The removal of ‘geocodes' through this Bill will go a long way to address this anomaly."
The Bill has been referred to the Environment and Communications Committee reporting 3 October 2013. Senator Ludlam urged the public to make their voices heard on the issue of copyright reform.
*The Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities was adopted yesterday at the World Intellectual Property Organisation conference in Marrakesh.