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Copyright Amendment Act 2006

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Statutory Licences

  1. Insubstantial Copying (s 135ZMB (1A) and (2))

    The Amendment Act introduced two changes in relation to insubstantial copying.

    Firstly, if an electronic work is paginated (such as a PDF document that looks like the hard copy version), a teacher can now copy 1 or 2 pages of that work, without having to count the number of words to ensure the section copied is less than 1% of the words in the work. If the electronic work is not paginated (such as a web page), the teacher will still have to count the words to make sure they copy less than 1% of the total words.

    Secondly, the Amendment Act imposes a new requirement in Part VB that in order for any copying of works in an electronic form to be regarded as insubstantial, and therefore non-remunerable, the works must be consecutive. This is the only issue that did not represent a positive outcome for the education sector. It is disappointing that this provision has been included. It means that if a teacher copies paragraphs 1 and 3 from a website, even if the total number of words copied is less than 1% of the total work, paragraph 3 will not be considered insubstantial, and will therefore be remunerable under Part VB.

    This could have a significant financial impact on Schools ’ payments under the Part VB statutory licence. It also places a more onerous standard on education than is applied to the general public and other industries using copyright material.

  2. Records Notices (see ss 135K(2A) and 135ZX(2A))

    The Act currently contains a default record keeping scheme for both the Part VA and VB licences. The Amendment Act retains these provisions, but introduces a new ability for educational institutions and collecting societies to agree on aspects of the records notice scheme other than the default scheme. If the parties cannot agree the Copyright Tribunal may make a determination about these additional issues.

  3. Podcasts and Webcasts (s 135C)

    The Part VA licence has been broadened to include free-to-air podcasts and webcasts. This means that educational institutions can now copy and communicate podcasts, provided that the podcasts originated as free-to-air broadcasts.

  4. Electronic Anthologies (s 135ZMDA)

    This section provides that educational institutions can copy and communicate up to 15 pages from any anthology published in an electronic form. This only applies to paginated electronic anthologies.

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Other Relevant Amendments

  1. Copyright Tribunal (s 157A)

    A party to Tribunal proceedings will now be able to require the Tribunal to have regard to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ('ACCC') guidelines. The ACCC is in the process of developing guidelines in relation to collecting societies and copyright licensing. The ACCC has released draft guidelines for public comment. Submissions on the guidelines are due on 31 January 2007.

  2. Technological Protection Measures (Part V Division 2A and Subdivision

    Prior to the introduction of these amendments, it was an offence to deal in Technological Protection Measures (TPMs), but not to use them. It is now also an offence to use a circumvention device to break a TPM. There is an exception to this rule for education – it is possible for an educational institution to break a TPM on its premises to copy or communicate works in electronic form under the Part VB licence.

    The exception does not extend to the Part VA licence. However, there is a mechanism established to allow us to request the Government to extend the exception to cover Part VA if there is evidence that TPMs are having an adverse impact on the ability to use the Part VA licence.

  3. Parody and Satire (s 40)

    A new fair dealing exception has been created for parody and satire. This exception is not subject to the 3-step test.

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Other Issues Not Included in the Amendment Act

  1. Strict Liability Provisions

    The Government previously proposed a number of strict liability provisions which may have made Schools and TAFEs liable for the criminal activities of students and staff. Fortunately, these provisions are not included in the Amendment Act.

  2. Safe Harbour

    Internet Service Providers are afforded some protection against liability for authorisation of infringement by users by simply hosting websites that may contain infringing material. This same protection does not extend to education institutions, and the Amendment Act has not altered this situation.

    This summary provides an overview of the key amendments relevant to Schools and TAFEs. Some of the amendments are quite complex, and we will be preparing a more detailed explanation of those provisions, including examples of how they are likely to be applied.

    For further information, contact your local copyright manager.

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