IP Issues Paper 42 – Intro

IP Issues Paper 42 – Intro

The Federal Attorney General has requested the ALRC to enquire and report as to whether the “exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968, are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment.” The ALRC has released a discussion paper, some 80 pages in length, canvassing the issues related to exceptions to the Copyright Act.

Copyright is so divorced from reality at the moment that any restriction of its operation would be welcome. It is unfortunate, however, that the ALRC’s consideration is limited to the scope of exceptions to infringement within the Act as it is the rights themselves which are in need of subjugation. Indeed, it is my view that, unless and until copyright is reformed in such a way as to make the rights analogous to those rights in physical property the objectives sought to be achieved by the review – for example the promotion of innovation and dissemination of copyright works – will not be achieved.

Note on use of “copyright work”

The Act draws a distinction between works and subject matter other than works. It is cumbersome to be true to this distinction and yet provide an argument with a natural flow when having to constantly refer to works and/or subject matter other than works. The word “work” is used here as a matter of convenience, but should be read as a reference to all kinds of material in which copyright subsists.

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