And it has signalled it will continue to pursue ‘safe harbour’ protections for universities, which were removed from the bill to enable further consultation and not delay these other important reforms.
“These changes respect the interests of copyright holders, while removing archaic provisions that currently impede universities from using copyright materials in the digital era,” she said.
“It will give flexibility for universities and copyright collecting agencies to negotiate agreements that aren’t constrained by 30-40 pages of outdated, technology-specific rules that are no longer relevant in the internet age.”
This bill also removes barriers to providing works in accessible formats to people with print and vision disabilities, fulfilling Australia’s obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty.
The changes reflect proposals brought to Government by universities, schools, libraries, cultural institutions, rights holders and collecting societies alike. Universities Australia urges the swift passage of these much-needed changes through the Parliament.
UA is disappointed that the intention to extend ‘safe harbours’ protections to universities – among others – was removed from the bill just before it was introduced.
Safe harbours provide a simple anti-piracy system that gives copyright holders an efficient way to get infringing content removed, while protecting institutions like universities and schools that work for the public benefit.
Australian universities provide email accounts and internet access to hundreds of thousands of students for educational purposes.
Yet universities have no protection against being sued if a student posts materials that infringe copyright – even where the university moves swiftly to remove the content.
Universities Australia looks forward to seeing further reforms enacted in the near future, to give universities the same sort of ‘safe harbours’ protections as companies like Telstra and Optus.