Industry Recommends Copyright Reforms
The communications industry has urged the Federal Government to improve Australia’s protections against copyright infringement through measures including an equitable expansion of ‘safe harbour’ provisions and the retention of the core elements of measures that enable infringing websites to be blocked.
In its industry submission to the Attorney-General Department’s current consultation on copyright enforcement, Communications Alliance recommended that copyright law in Australia be updated and brought in line with more expansive safe harbour schemes in jurisdictions such as the United States, which has the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The DMCA is a useful precedent for Australia, as it establishes parameters for online services which balance the interests of rights holders and their ability to take steps against content that infringes their copyright, while providing certainty and processes allowing online services to methodically respond to claims of infringing content on their services.
Without adequate safe harbour frameworks, Comms Alliance said, Australia remains a jurisdiction with risks for online services hosting content.
The Comms Alliance submission also pointed to the need for the current website blocking arrangements in Australia to be maintained, but argued that court orders should be made clear, rather than made subject to interpretation by recipient service providers, and that the cost of complying with orders initiated by rights holders should be adequately reimbursed.
Submission to the Treasury consultation paper Digital Platforms: Government consultation on ACCC’s regulatory reform recommendations
The submission does not provide commentary in response to ACCC assumptions and statements about the status of individual markets and/or market participants put forward in its fifth interim report but notes the need for those to be rigorously and independently explored and analysed.
Moreover, the submission questions the need for the legislative reform proposed by the ACCC in the digital platform environment, and generally raises concern with a sector-specific approach to regulating platforms without a clear evidence base of specific, actual harms affecting consumers.
The submission also comments on efforts of the industry in the area of scams and how further measures ought to be most effectively approached; and provides brief feedback around external dispute resolution regimes for digital platforms.
Finally, we note our concern with any approach that would place rule-making powers with far-reaching economic implications for Australia as well as consumer welfare in the hands of a single agency, including the ACCC.
Communications Alliance is pleased to welcome the following new member:
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