Improving access to copyright material
22 March 2017
Turnbull Government today introduced the Copyright Amendment (Disability
Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 to streamline and simplify the
copyright framework for the disability, education, library and archive sectors
while respecting the interests of copyright holders.
copyright reforms will support efforts to grow Australia’s economy through
innovation, improved competition and creativity.
Bill will enable people with a disability to enjoy fair access to
copyright material in formats suitable to their individual needs. This reflects
the Government’s commitment to improving accessibility to published material
for persons with a disability following the ratification of the Marrakesh
Treaty, which entered into force on 30 September 2016.
Bill includes measures to make it easier for students and educators to use
copyright material in the digital education environment, for example,
conducting exams online. Educational institutions and copyright collecting
societies will have the flexibility to develop their own agreements for use of
copyright material, instead of being constrained by prescriptive regulation.
Bill will protect Australia’s cultural heritage and ensure that it is available
for future generations. Libraries and archives will have greater flexibility in
how they undertake their preservation functions, and in providing greater access
to and use of unpublished material that is historic and culturally valuable.
Bill is an important next step in the Government’s plans to work
collaboratively with stakeholders to modernise copyright law.
Bill was the subject of extensive consultation with copyright users and rights
relating to safe harbour were removed from the Bill before its introduction to
enable the Government to further consider feedback received on this proposal
whilst not delaying the passage of other important reforms.
Government thanks all those who worked collaboratively to provide constructive
feedback on the measures contained in this important legislation.