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Copyright reforms to better support the digital environment

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The Morrison Government is moving ahead with copyright reforms, announcing changes to provide a more flexible and adaptable framework that will better support the needs of Australians to access content in an increasingly digital environment.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the changes reflect the need for Australia’s copyright arrangements to continually evolve to support digital access, and provide certainty to copyright owners, creators and users.

“The reforms follow two years of extensive industry consultation and will finalise the Government’s response to copyright recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Intellectual Property Arrangements report,” Minister Fletcher said.

The need for change has been further highlighted during COVID-19, with schools, universities, cultural institutions and governments moving more services online.

The reforms will allow the reasonable and necessary use of copyright materials online while also removing administrative burden, meaning these organisations can continue to deliver their services online.

The reforms will set up a scheme to allow the use of material if the copyright owner cannot be found, introduce a fair dealing exception for non-commercial quotation, simplify and update copyright exceptions for educational and cultural institutions, and streamline the government statutory licensing scheme.

“Australia’s copyright system underpins our creative economy and these reforms provide clear and reasonable public interest access to copyright materials, while maintaining the incentives and protections for content creators,” Minister Fletcher said.

This builds on the Government’s previous work on improving access for the disability, education and cultural sectors and reforming safe harbour legislation, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to a copyright framework that is fit for the digital age.

Source: Office of The Minister of Infrastracture

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