IIA sounds off on copyright law ammendments

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IIA sounds off on copyright law ammendments

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has joined the chorus of voices warning of the dangers of the Federal Government’s planed copyright law amendments.

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has joined the chorus of voices warning of the dangers of the Federal Government’s planed copyright law amendments.

The industry body claims the amendments - due to be passed by the Senate this week, will threaten the development of vibrant, new digital content industries in Australia.

Digital media end-users and industry players also stood to face a host of unknown risks, the IIA has said.

IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos, said that despite the body’s representations to government, it was concerned that last minute amendments to the Bill would be marginal and do little to quell concerns about legal liability.

”The development of exciting, new information services in Australia will suffer as a consequence," he said in a statement. "Network and access providers, universities, cultural institutions and online service providers generally, will now face a more restrictive regulatory landscape than exists in other countries."

Coroneos said that ‘harmonisation' with US law, as promised under the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, was about to result in a copyright environment that had "all the restrictions and few of the freedoms" that a balanced approach to fair use should entail.

"Worse than that, the implementation goes beyond what the FTA requires. Ironically, we are left in a position where our law may create a barrier to trade and the provision of foreign based services which are legal elsewhere," he said.

"At the same time, provisions targeting infringers are so broadly cast, that they will either inadvertently catch everyday users, or will remain unenforced. Neither outcome is good."
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