Australia drops ‘safe harbour’ reforms

April 2017

All areas


The Australian government has dropped plans to extend safe harbour protection from the revision of the country’s copyright laws. The Australian recorded music industry was among those who criticised plans to extend the country’s copyright safe harbour to be more in line with those in the US and Europe. Others in the media and entertainment industries hit out at that proposal, pointing out that the wider safe harbour provisions were becoming increasingly controversial in the US and the European Union, and that moves were afoot in the latter to put new limits on safe harbour protection, and that the proposed safe harbour reform hadn’t been subject to proper consultation, unlike the other proposals in the Copyright Amendment Bill.
Dan Rosen of the Australian Recording Industry Association said on the news: “The other schedules to the bill were subject to a proper consultation and review by the department and that would be the appropriate place for an evidence-based inquiry into the commercial and market impact of any reform to safe harbour”.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said that the safe harbour proposal had been taken out of the copyright bill in response to “feedback” from the content industries, and that the government didn’t want the debate around that specific issue to unnecessarily delay other elements of the copyright reform legislation.
ALRC view here:

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