BOOK COVERS AGREEMENT
August 2016: The Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) came to a landmark agreement to allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking permission each time. They agreed on the value of an environment in which libraries can be confident, for promotional purposes, to reproduce images of book covers whose copyright is owned by Australian publishers. Find out more here.
Copyright fact sheets
The Australian Libraries Copyright Committee has put together a range of fact sheets to help Australian librarians, archivists and related professionals navigate some of the more common interactions with copyright. The fact sheets, along with other helpful copyright materials, are available on the ALCC Resources page.
Copyright law reform
The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was passed in Parliament on 15 June, 2017, and it includes a number of important and overdue amendments that will dramatically free up how Australians can access and use copyright material. In July to August 2015, FAIR ran a campaign called Cooking for Copyright which raised awareness of of our muddled copyright law and lobbied for immediate reform.
Back then, FAIR published 35 handwritten recipes on the website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked ALIA Members, FAIR supporters and Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag. Within two weeks of the launch, the campaign was trending #1 on Twitter with more than 1 500 tweets and 9,973,809 Twitter impressions.
FAIR and ALIA had incredible support from National and State Libraries Australasia, archive, museum and historical society colleagues, who provided dozens of recipes, ranging from perfect morning tea fodder through to weird medicinal products.
With the help of ALIA and FAIR's Members, this campaign helped convince our politicians that change was needed to copyright law to unlock millions of items, putting them in the public domain.
The Bill ends antiquated provisions in the Australian Copyright Act that provide perpetual copyright for unpublished materials, no matter how old they are.
As a result millions of historical manuscripts - from celebrity letters and diaries held by the National, State and Territory libraries and archives, to the thousands of theses at our universities - will be simultaneously freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019.
Sue McKerracher is encouraging everyone to cook again to celebrate these important copyright reforms on 31 July - to mark the two-year anniversary since librarians around the country took part in this act of civil disobedience.
Other copyright law reform news
There are several projects in the works in Australia and internationally that will have a major impact on the future of copyright and intellectual property laws in Australia.
The Productivity Commission issued the Intellectual Property Arrangements report in September 2016
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise print Disabled
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - Australia Australia, Japan and other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have agreed to pursue their trade deal without the United States. Trumoil over global trade negotiations was laid bare at a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in May 2017which failed to agree on its usual joint statement after US opposition to wording on fighting protectionism.
Federal election policies June 2016
Australian Greens policy - the policy states that it is critical that any changes are subject to substantial community and sector consultation and proper consideration
Australian Labor Party - the policy states that Labor will consider any proposals or recommendations to adjust the current territorial copyright regime with caution.
21 December 2016
Australia's libraries and archivists support fair use | Australian Libraries Copyright Committee
22 August 2016
24 Organisations Publish Open letter on Copyright Reforms | Australian Libraries Copyright Committee
24 May 2016
Conjecture on copyright changes unfounded | Senator Mitch Fifield media release
29 April 2016
Strong support for copyright reforms | ALIA media release
29 April 2016
24 December 2015
ALIA welcomes changes to copyright law | ALIA media release
23 December 2015
Updating changes to Australia's copyright laws | Department of Communications statement
July - August 2015
Cooking for copyright | FAIR campaign
On Friday 31 July , FAIR asked its supporters to Cook for Copyright to support copyright law reform. FAIR followers right across Australia took up the challenge of cooking for copyright, helping to raise awareness of our muddled copyright law and supporting our lobbying for immediate reform.
We had incredible support from National and State Libraries Australasia, archive, museum and historical society colleagues, who provided dozens of recipes, ranging from perfect morning tea fodder through to weird medicinal products.
We posted 35 handwritten recipes to the FAIR website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag. Read more
The final report by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) for its inquiry, Copyright and the Digital Economy, was released in February 2014. The report recommended the introduction of fair use in Australia. ALIA has been supportive of the adoption of Fair Use throughout the process and we were pleased to see the final report make this recommendation. According to the press release, the report also recommended some specific exceptions for libraries and archives to make preservation copies. Click here to see the final report.
ALIA and ALLA released a joint submission to the Copyright and the Digital Economy Discussion Paper (31 July 2013)
ALIA submitted a further submission emphasising the serious concerns our members have voiced about library access to ebooks and elending on 28 August 2013.
The Marrakesh Treaty (also known as the Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities) was signed by Australia in Geneva on 24 June 2014.
One of the most important aspects of the treaty is the allowances it makes for books for people with print disabilities to be exported. Before the Treaty, copyright prohibited such cross-border trade which wasted time, money and resources world-wide.
For more information please visit the links below:
The Economist | Between the lines: Blind People defeat lobbyists in a tussle about copyright | 20 July 2013
ALIA participated in a stakeholder meeting in Sydney on 8 November 2016. View the communique issued as a result of that meeting.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement was negotiated in on-going secret meetings between governments including Australia.
In October 2014, ALIA issued a media release noting our concerns about a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property (IP) chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that could lead to internet censorship. Wikileaks published the updated draft chapter on IP which forms part of the TPP.