Labor’s FTA Recommendations
So the FTA Senate Committee’s final report is out now, and there are some more explicit recommendations from the Labor members. Here’s the cliff’s notes.
Fair use is in:
Labor Senators recommend that the Senate Select Committee on Intellectual Property [the establishment of which is Recommendation 6 -- aj] investigate options for possible amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 to expand the fair dealing exceptions to more closely reflect the ‘fair use’ doctrine that exists in the United States and to address the anomalies of ‘time shifting’ and ‘space shifting’ in Australia.
Labor Senators recommend that the Senate Select Committee on Intellectual Property investigate amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 to provide that a contract that purports to exclude or modify exceptions to copyright infringement such as fair dealing is not enforceable.
Open source DVD players and PDF readers are also covered:
Labor Senators recommend that the Commonwealth Government ensure that specific exceptions will be available in the implementation of Australia’s obligations in relation to Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) to provide for the manufacture of interoperable software products.
(Access to protected works and not rushing the legislation for this is covered in recommendations 12 and 13)
Also interesting is recommendation 10, which suggests looking into doing something like the Public Domain Enhancement Act — which requires a token $1 payment for protection 50 years after publication (as opposed to death of the author), and every ten years after that. Such a law’s almost certainly in violation of our obligations under the Berne convention, of course.
Recommendation 7 is a motherhood statement for universities, recommendation 9 is about reviewing originality, and recommendations 16-18 cover take down notifications
That just leaves recommendation 15, which I’ll get to in a second.