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Following its earlier leak, George Brandis, Australia’s Attorney-General and Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, have formally released the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper and is seeking public submissions on the draft proposals designed to address online piracy.
Australia has one of the highest rates of online copyright piracy in the world. This has a significant impact on Australia’s creative industries, including music, television, cinema, software, broadcast and publishing industries, which employ more than 900,000 people and generates more than $90 billion in economic value each year.
The ease with which copyrighted content can be digitised and distributed online means there is no easy solution to preventing online copyright infringement. International experience has shown that a range of measures are necessary to reduce piracy and ensure that we can continue to take full advantage of the legitimate opportunities to create, provide and enjoy content in a digital environment.
Everyone has a role to play in reducing online copyright infringement. Rights holders need to ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price. Internet service providers (ISPs) can take reasonable steps to ensure their systems are not used to infringe copyright. Consumers can do the right thing and access content lawfully.
The Government’s preference is to create a legal framework that will facilitate industry cooperation to develop flexible and effective measures to combat online piracy. This Discussion Paper seeks the views of the public and stakeholders on proposals to establish such a legal framework.
Importantly, the Government expects that consumer interests will be taken into account in the development of any industry scheme or commercial arrangements.
Submissions are sought by end of 1 September 2014.