Pirate Party Australia welcomes the introduction of the Copyright Legislation Amendment (Fair Go for Fair Use) Bill by Senator Scott Ludlam today[1].

Among the provisions is the introduction of fair use: a flexible, open-ended exemption in the Copyright Act to support innovation, reflect consumer expectations, and promote fair access to archives. The technology-neutral approach would not rely on Parliament passing specific exceptions each time a new technology is introduced. Pirate Party Australia supported such a provision in its submission[2] to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s “Copyright and the Digital Economy” issues paper[3].

“The Pirate Party has always been an ardent supporter of fair use, and this Bill is a great start to true copyright reform in Australia. We thank Senator Ludlam for tabling such an important Bill,” said Brendan Molloy, lead Senate candidate in NSW for the Pirate Party.

“If we want copyright law to be respected, we need respectable copyright law, and this Bill is absolutely a step in the right direction. We look forward to further reform in this area upon the conclusion of the ALRC Copyright and the Digital Economy inquiry.”

Significantly, the Bill also aims to remove ‘geocodes’ — artificial market segmentation that prevents Australians accessing overseas content. This should largely reduce the delay and relative cost in accessing content, meaning that Australians would be able to watch television programs, listen to music, and buy video games and books at the same prices and at the same time as the rest of the world.

Similarly, it would end the legislative support for digital rights management and technological protection measures that restrict accessibility for the visually impaired and disabled.

Furthermore, the Bill provides legal protection to service providers and institutions, preventing action being taken against them for how their services have been used. This ‘safe harbour’ would effectively absolve Internet service providers, universities and schools from responsibility if end users had used their services for copyright infringement.

Pirate Party Australia strongly supports the provisions of this Bill and urges members of Parliament to support it.

Pirate Party Australia was formed in response to draconian and outdated intellectual rights legislation, and proposes that copyright legislation needs to be reformed to reflect the realities of the digital environment.

The Party’s copyright reform policy can be found here: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Policies/Copyright

[1] http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s928
[2] https://pirateparty.org.au/media/submissions/ppau-copyrev-submission.pdf
[3] http://www.alrc.gov.au/inquiries/copyright-and-digital-economy

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