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ALRC backs fair use copyright reform, but political hurdles remain

Adam Bender | June 10, 2013
Fair use promotes startup ecosystem and benefits cloud vendors, says ANU law professor.

"If one was setting up a startup company on 3D printing, obviously one would set up in Brooklyn rather than Sydney because of the protection afforded by the broad defence of fair use," said Rimmer.

"There would be a great concern in a jurisdiction like Australia about such a startup being subject to litigation particularly by big copyright industries."

Copyright laws have also chased some cloud computing companies out of Australia, said Rimmer. After the High Court's decision against Optus's TV Now service, many reconsidered operations here because of concerns about possible copyright infringement action, he said.

"Australia would be at a terrible disadvantage if cloud computing companies considered that they were vulnerable to lawsuits in Australia."

The Internet Industry Association supports "a more open-ended fair use copyright framework and one that simplifies the current regime and adapts our legislation to the demands of the digital age", IIA chief executive, Peter Lee, said in a statement.

"In our view the alternative model proposed, should fair use not be enacted, a model that suggests the addition of new fair dealing exceptions, would be less flexible and miss an opportunity of taking Australia's copyright regime into the 21st century."


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