Wednesday, 29 June 2016 19:20

EFA calls on Coalition, Labor to support copyright reform

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EFA calls on Coalition, Labor to support copyright reform Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The non-profit digital freedoms and rights group representing Internet users, Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), has joined the throng of business and industry organisations lobbying the major political parties in the last hours of the federal election campaign.

The EFA on Wednesday issued a call for the major parties to support positive reform to Australia’s Copyright Act, describing the Act as unnecessarily inflexible and “no longer fit for purpose in an increasingly digital world”.

The Internet user group reinforced its message in an open letter to the political parties, saying that this inflexibility means that technological and service innovations are often unable to be brought to market in Australia, hampering the development of the digital economy.

“There has been much discussion from both major parties in the lead-up to this election about innovation, agility and the need for Australia to adapt to a ‘transitioning economy’," it said.

While calling on the Coalition and the Labor Party to support copyright reform, the EFA said it has received commitments from the Greens and some smaller parties, supporting the introduction of a “broad, flexible fair use exception” into Australia’s Copyright Act.

The EFA demands that, whichever party — the Coalition or Labor  form the next government, they must:

•    Promptly introduce legislation as proposed by the Department of Communications in December 2015  that addresses unpublished works, extends the safe harbour scheme and facilitates the introduction of the Marrakesh Treaty for Visually-Impaired persons, and

•    Promptly introduce legislation that will implement the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform's 2013 report  Copyright and the Digital Economy  particularly the introduction of a broad, flexible fair use exception into Australia's Copyright Act.

To read EFA’s full letter to the political parties, click here.

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