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American Movie Studios Fighting Against Expanded Fair Use in Australia

Posted by: , 18:21 AEDT, Tue November 21, 2017

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American movie studios trying to interfere in Australia's attempt to create fairer copyright laws
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Image/Photo Credit: Horia Varlan @ Flickr, CC

Australia's attempt to bring in Fair Use copyright laws have met with resistance from movie studios that come from a country whose Fair Use copyright laws Australia are trying to emulate.

U.S. studios, represented by the MPAA, are trying to prevent Australia from implementing changes to copyright laws that would make it fairer to consumers, despite the fact that the same laws already exists in the U.S. and that the Australian government only wants to copy the U.S. model.

The U.S. fair use model adds several exemptions to existing copyright law designed to allow consumers, researchers and teachers to perform activities that would normally be illegal under copyright law, but in reality, brings no harm to copyright holders. For example, users are allowed to make copies of content they have purchased for private use, while teachers and researchers can ignore certain copyright practices as part of their work. In reality, fair use protection plays second fiddle to copyright laws, with many fair use rights being denied to people in the U.S. if they are in conflict with existing copyright laws, such as the law preventing the circumvention of copy protection.

The MPAA says that any changes to existing copyright laws in Australia could bring in unpredictable changes to the current landscape, without going into the specifics of how granting consumers more rights could do this.

"These changes could create significant market uncertainty and effectively weaken Australia’s infrastructure for intellectual property protection," writes the MPAA.

The MPAA also addressed intentions by the Australian government to loosen laws in regards to geo-blocking. Australians are well known for being underserved when it comes to getting the latest content, and the government wants to address this by making geo-unblocking legal (as opposed to the current grey area in which it exists).

Again, the MPAA is opposed to these changes, suggesting that Australia's creative economy could be affected, somehow.

"Local policymakers should take care to ensure that Australia’s vibrant market is not inadvertently impaired and that any proposed relaxation of copyright and related rights protection does not violate Australia’s international obligations," the MPAA adds.

[via Techdirt]


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