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The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017

Educational and library copying reforms in 2017 - what’s changed and where do you find  information on the changes?  

There were a number of important changes to the educational and library copying provisions in the Copyright Act (the Act) in 2017. Information sheets on the Smartcopying website have been updated to take account of these changes.

See here for a copy of the Act.

See here for a copy of the Explanatory Memorandum (EM).

New streamlined statutory licences

The Statutory Broadcast Licence (Part VA) and Statutory Text and Artistic Licence (Part VB) have been replaced with new educational statutory licences in s 113P (contained in Part IVA, Division 4 of the Act). The new provisions simplify the operation of the educational statutory licences and provide more flexibility for educational institutions and collecting societies to negotiate agreed terms. They also remove the copying limits that were contained in Part VB of the Act. At this stage, we advise schools and TAFEs to continue to apply the existing copying limits and notice requirements of the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence until new copying limits or other requirements are agreed with Copyright Agency.

New disability copying exceptions

The disability statutory licences in Divisions 3 and 4 of Part VB of the Act, and the disability copying part of the flexible dealing exception in s 200AB of the Act, have been replaced by two new disability copying exceptions. See http://smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/library-and-disability-copying/3-2-disability-access-measures for information on these two new exceptions, which are contained in ss 113E and 113F of the Act.

Expanded exam copying exception  

The exam copying exception in s 200(b) of the Act - which previously applied only to text and artistic works, and only to face-to-face exams - now permits schools and TAFEs to use any kind of copyright material in exams (including broadcasts, sound recordings and films), and also permits these materials to be used in exams and assessments conducted online

New library copying exceptions

There are two new library copying exceptions:

New TPM exceptions

A number of new TPM exceptions have been enacted that permit schools and TAFE’s to circumvent TPMs when relying on the educational and library copying exceptions discussed above. Schools and TAFEs can now circumvent TPMs when relying on: 

Greater flexibility with the fair dealing copyright notices that are required to be displayed in libraries that contain machines that can be used to make copies

New Copyright Regulations provide greater flexibility in how schools and TAFEs display fair dealing copyright warning notices in libraries. (These are the notices that are required to be displayed on or near machines that can be used to make copies of copyright content.)

Under the old regulations, TAFE and school libraries were required to display separate notices if the copying machines can be used to copy works and audio-visual items. There is now an option to use a combined notice in this circumstance. See http://smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/education-licences-(statutory-and-voluntary-licences)/library-fair-dealing-and-copying-notice for a copy of the notice.

There is also greater flexibility in the size of the notice. Under the old regulations, there was no flexibility in the size of the notice: the prescribed dimensions of the notice were 297 mm long and 201 mm wide (ie A4 paper size). It is now permissible for the notice to be larger than this, but not smaller. This should allow greater flexibility in terms of where the notice is actually positioned. That’s because while the statutory requirement is to display the notice “to, or in close proximity to” the machine, and “in a place readily visible to persons using the machine” (see ss 39A and 104B of the Act), the question of just how “close” the notices need to be in order to satisfy this requirement will turn to a large extent on how legible/prominent the notice is to a person using the relevant machine. Now that TAFE and school libraries have scope to make the notice larger than A4, there will be more flexibility in where the notices are positioned while still complying with the statutory requirements.  See http://smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/education-licences-(statutory-and-voluntary-licences)/library-fair-dealing-and-copying-notice for more on this.

There is no need to make any change to the existing library copyright warning notices unless you want to take advantage of this new flexibility.