Amendments to copyright a welcome step towards fair, affordable and open access to knowledge

(23  March 2017) The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) is delighted to see that the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 have been in Parliament.

CAUL is the national peak body representing university libraries in Australia and has been a persistent advocate for the Bill’s proposed amendments. The amendments arise from the Productivity Commission Report into Intellectual Property Arrangements. The amendments will benefit Australian universities, their students and researchers.

The bill introduces changes to the Australian Copyright Act that will improve the rights of people with a disability to access copyright material. This change underscores a fundamental value of libraries for unimpeded access to information, ensuring that libraries are better placed to meet the equity and inclusion mission of their universities.

The removal of perpetual copyright for unpublished materials updates provisions for libraries and archives to digitally preserve material and make material widely available (online) for the purpose of research at a library or archive.

“These are welcome, much needed reforms and will ensure our members can provide fair, affordable and open access to knowledge. What remains outstanding are two key areas for reform: the extension of copyright safe harbours for universities and Fair Use copyright provision” said Margie Jantti, the CAUL President.

The announcement is here.