Copyright can often be a confusing thing to wrap your head around, especially because it is always changing and there are many exceptions to the rule.
Copyright exists to protect creators of original works and Australia’s copyright laws are among the most highly regarded around the world.
Changes to Australian copyright laws pushed by the Productivity Commission, large organisations and big technology companies will make it harder for artists and creators to be recognised and make money from their work.
The Australian Government is looking to import the US ‘fair use’ legal principle which exempts large companies from recognising artists for their work and enables them to use copyright material for free.
According to makers of the Free is Not Fair Campaign, Under Australia’s current laws, schools and universities are allowed to copy and share everything published in the world without asking first. This is because money is paid by education departments and universities to the Copyright Agency which distributes it to authors, playwrights, publishers, illustrators, journalists, artists and photographers whose material has been copied and shared who are the owners of the copyright material.
The ‘fair use’ model will allow large corporations to do the same without having to pay for the content they use. As a result, there will be less Australian music, screen content, stories in bookshops, materials in schools and universities.