Australian Government backs copyright industry code

A leading member of Australia’s Federal Attorney-General’s department is backing the creation of a self-regulated industry code between Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and rights holders to combat piracy issues.

A growing number of rights holders, service providers, user groups and copyright experts consider an industry code would be preferable to further litigation or copyright legislation.

Department secretary Roger Wilkins initiated talks with several large service providers over the issue in September.

According to Wilkins, the speed, anonymity and cross-jurisdictional nature of online transactions meant that conventional regulatory models had become “severely challenged”.

He told attendees of the Copyright Law and Practice Symposium in Sydney that  in order to safeguard and secure copyright, “we need to take a look at a new and somewhat unconventional approaches to information and law enforcement.”

He said his belief was that solutions would rely on new business models “that create incentives for consumers and other market participants to comply with the copyright law and also the technological innovation of the copyright owners. They are going to emerge through cooperative agreements and participation between copyright owners and service providers.”

He advised that the existing Copyright Act provided scope for an industry code addressing the issues to be established.

The Attorney-General’s department is scheduled to conduct further meetings with ISPs before the end of the year. Talks between ISPs and rights holders have been held separately from those with Government.

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