Copyright review put in Attorney-General's hands

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Copyright review put in Attorney-General's hands

But no immediate public release planned.

The Australian Law Reform Commission today delivered its report for its long-running copyright inquiry to Attorney-General George Brandis.

The report, Copyright and the Digital Economy, is an attempt to address failures in the law to keep pace with challenges of the internet era.

It attempts to tackle two politically charged areas of copyright reform: online piracy and fair use provisions of current law.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General confirmed the report had been delivered to the government but was unable to provide detail on when the report would be tabled in parliament.

It's understood the Attorney-General's Department will engage with industry stakeholders before making the document available publicly.

Former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon ordered the inquiry following a landmark online copyright battle between iiNet and an armada of Hollywood-backed studios, which reached the High Court.

The Perth-headquartered ISP successfully fended off allegations that it authorised its customers to pirate thousands of movies.

Separately, the Attorney-General's department under Ms Roxon had been overseeing talks between copyright owners and the internet industry to reach a solution to online piracy. The talks broke down prior to the election but Brandis is reported to have been trying to revive the discussions.

Copyright holders have criticised the ALRC over its handling of the inquiry.

Last year, Foxtel and four major entertainment lobby groups collectively signed a document accusing the ALRC of fostering anti-commercial bias and conflicts of interest in forming its advisory board for the inquiry.

In August the Australian Home Entertainment Distributor's Association (AHEDA) lodged a submission to the inquiry repeating those accusations and attacking its proposal to introduce fair use provisions to Australian intellectual property laws.

AHEDA said it wanted the current regime based on exceptions retained.

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