News Section Logo NEWS - Return to news section

 

Australia: Draconian Copyright Laws Suck Millions From Budget Constrained Schools

Posted by: , 15:08 AEST, Mon July 23, 2012

Permanent Link     Add Comments
Draconian copyright laws are forcing schools to be out of pocket, paying for materials that aren't even copyrighted in the first place, according to Australia's National Copyright Unit
News story feature image
Image/Photo Credit: flickingerbrad @ Flickr, CC

Australia's National Copyright Unit (NCU), a group that provides copyright advice to educators, says that schools are needlessly paying copyright royalty for content that are free for use.

Schools in Australia spend up to $56 million per year on copyright payments, and up to 15% of that may be for content that's already freely available on the Internet, according to the National Copyright Unit.

Under current copyright laws, schools have to pay a copyright fee every time a teacher saves or prints material from the Internet, even if it's simply instructions for the student to save or print the material at home. "Australian schools pay copyright fees every time a teacher prints from the internet, saves a document from a website or asks a student to print a webpage for a homework assignment," said Delia Browne, NCU's national copyright director.

And as schools start using the Internet more, the copyright costs, including the needless portions, are set to increase.

There are also issues relating to digital versions of text books, with some publishers only providing digital copies with hard copy purchases, and preventing re-distribution of digital copies along with second hand sales of the hard copies.

"It's crazy; we're in the midst of this digital revolution and we've got publishers … failing to evolve and keep up with the times," says Sue Boudakin, co-president of North Sydney's Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College's parents association.

The NCU will make its recommendation to the Australian Law Reform Commission, which is currently holding an inquiry into the digital economy and how copyright relates to it.


Comments:

Related News:

News Icon Australian Copyright Lobby Tries To Fool Aussie Net Users With Misleading Stats

posted by: Sean F, 15:46 AEST, Tue September 13, 2011

News Icon Warner's 'Disc to Digital' Derided By Public Knowledge As Consumer Unfriendly

posted by: Sean F, 15:01 AEDT, Sat March 10, 2012

News Icon Copyright Lawsuits Come To Australia

posted by: Jason F, 13:59 AEDT, Tue October 4, 2011

News Icon Australian ISP Defeats Hollywood As Copyright Trial Appeal Rejected

posted by: Sean F, 16:37 AEST, Fri April 20, 2012

News Icon MPAA Tech Policy Chief Quits, Comes Out Attacking SOPA/PIPA

posted by: Sean F, 14:18 AEST, Tue April 10, 2012