Copyright


Keeping up with Copyright - March 2012


Australian Digital Alliance/Australian Libraries Copyright Committee Information Bulletin February 2012

Keeping up with Copyright is a monthly information bulletin for ADA and ALCC members, to keep you updated of activities being undertaken by the copyright adviser for the two bodies.

Recent Activities

Eleventh round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations kicks off in Melbourne, ADA hosts lunch for IP negotiators The eleventh round of negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement kicked off last Thursday in Melbourne, with delegates from nine countries recommencing discussions on an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific region.

On Friday 2 March, the ADA and ALCC co-hosted a private lunch for the IP negotiators alongside non-profit NZ advocacy group, NZRise, with presentations from four prominent copyright and economics experts. Speakers included ADA patron and CEO of Lateral Economics, Nicholas Gruen, Carolyn Dalton, Executive Director of Policy Australia, Vikram Kumar, Chief Executive, Internet NZ and Counsel for the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Jonathan Band. Podcasts of the presentation and powerpoint slides will be made available online shortly.

Every IP negotiator and adviser involved in the negotiations attended the lunch, with comments from other stakeholders indicating that this full turnout was unprecedented in the previous ten rounds of the TPP! Feedback from IP negotiators and stakeholders following the lunch has been very positive, with negotiators commenting on the usefulness of the presentations. We've also had word that points made during the lunch were carried over into the afternoon's negotiations, which is the ultimate goal of these events.

On Sunday 4th March, I appeared on a panel session with Krista Cox from Knowledge Ecology International and Brett Smith, Free Software Foundation, discussing aspects of the TPP that could restrict access to knowledge. The ADA presentation focussed on experiences of libraries and universities in Australia under AUSFTA, particularly with regard to the restrictive circumvention of technological protection measures provisions, parallel importation restrictions and the impact of a further extension of the copyright term. You can read the full presentation online at our NEW website here.

ADA Copyright Forum 2012 is great success despite fog dramas While a number of ADA forum attendees (and a few speakers!) were circling Canberra Airport from above on Friday morning waiting for the fog to lift, more than 100 people made it to the National Library safely in time to hear keynote speaker Pamela Samuelson's entertaining and thought provoking keynote presentation, 'Fair Use as a Flexible Balancing Tool for the Internet Age'. More attendees trickled in throughout the day from delayed flights, with 140 in total making it to Canberra. Panel sessions throughout the day reflected a diverse number of perspectives on updated copyright exceptions for the digital age, all thoughtful, engaging and at times, side-splittingly funny - note for future conferences: always have a comedian on a panel session!

All presentations will be put up on the ADA website this week. Unfortunately there was a glitch with the MP3 recorder and a podcast of the presentations failed, but we'll endeavour to put as much information on the website as possible for those who were unable to attend. A big thank you to all the speakers, chairs, our ANU law student volunteers and the NLA sound support for making the day run so smoothly.

New ADA website up and running!
In case you haven't clicked on any of the links in this email, you should definitely click on this one. The new ADA website was launched last Thursday, just in time for the 2012 Copyright Forum. Take some time to have a look around, and email your thoughts on the new design as well as any glitches you've noticed. We'll be fixing up the kinks over the next few weeks (like getting the ALCC site back online) but we're glad it's finally up!

Become an ADA member!
Next week we'll be sending out our annual membership invoices and thanking members for their continuing support for the ADA. As you're aware, the ADA's advocacy efforts are funded entirely via member contributions and enable the ADA to provide an effective user and innovator perspective in the copyright debate. If your organisation is not already a member, fill out a membership application form online or inquire at ebroad@nla.gov.au for joining details. We value your support!

News highlights

Professor Jill McKeough appointed as ALRC Commissioner for Copyright Inquiry

Yes, the ALRC copyright review is definitely coming. On February 8th, the Attorney-General announced the appointment of Professor Jill McKeough as Commissioner in charge of the ALRC's inquiry into Australian copyright law. Professor McKeough is a highly regarded academic, researcher and writer with a special focus on intellectual property, and the ADA and ALCC are pleased with her appointment.

The ALRC website states that consultation on the draft Terms of Reference is to be completed by the end of March, so we can anticipate the release of the ToR any day now.

Attorney-General's Department releases consultation paper on extension of legal deposit

Last week the Attorney-General's Department, alongside Office of the Arts, released a consultation paper for comment on a proposed model to extend legal deposit in relation to material deposited with the National Library of Australia to electronic material. The extension of legal deposit to borne-digital materials enables the NLA to preserve a broad and accurate historic record of the digital cultural and literary output of Australians for future generations. Submissions are due April 14 2012, emailed to copyright@ag.gov.au.

Football codes lobby for 'simple amendment' to restrict consumer recordings of football to the cloud following Optus ruling

While copyright reform is usually a slow and methodical process, things can happen quickly when our beloved football is involved! Following the Federal Court decision in Singtel Optus Pty Ltd v National Rugby League Investments, a number of the major sporting codes descended on Canberra calling for legislative changes to introduce new restrictions on access to free-to-air sports broadcasts, and the use of cloud-based services to record those broadcasts.

With the legal action still ongoing, and the Prime Minister declaring the government's intent to urgently consider changes to law to protect the sporting codes, it's no wonder the appeal to the full Federal Court has been fast tracked to 14-15 March 2012. Legislative amendment prior to resolution of the legal action is not unlikely, although the ADA has urged the government to divert the issue into the ALRC copyright inquiry for serious consideration. You can read the letter sent to the Attorney-General (and other ministers) here.

Ratification of ACTA stalled by the European Commission Public opposition to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement erupted across Europe in January and February, with protesters taking to the streets in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany and Poland. With the Netherlands and Poland declaring they would not approve the final agreement, and the European Parliament's chief ACTA investigator, rapporteur Kader Arif, resigning in protest amongst the public opposition, the EU opted to refer the treaty to the European Court of Justice for an assessment of its compatibility with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms.

Australia is also a signatory to ACTA, with the treaty is due for consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties next week. No doubt the international attention and criticism ACTA has attracted will be in the back of the Committee's mind during the public hearings.

John Butler Trio song in Super Bowl yoghurt ad, MPAA continues quest to shut down all cyberlockers and controversy over Bob Katter's anti gay marriage ad February copyright infringement allegations kicked off during the US Super Bowl, where an ad featuring the perpetually attractive John Stamos and a tub of yoghurt seemed to be backed by the riff from "Zebra", by Australian group John Butler Trio. JBT weren't aware of the ad spot but after being alerted to the tune by fans via Facebook and Twitter, announced that they were looking into possible actions for copyright infringement.

Meanwhile, not content with shutting down cyber locker MegaUpload (and access by users to their own legitimate content stored with the service), the MPAA now has popular cyberlocker Hotfile in their sights for copyright infringement on a "mindboggling" scale. Confident that this is a home run, MPAA has filed a motion for summary judgment against Hotfile, citing past lawsuits against websites engaged in piracy and pointing to factors in Hotfile's conduct that should compel a judge to find the cyberlocker guilty without a trial by jury. Which cyberlocker will be next?

The newsletter wouldn't be complete without bringing your attention to this copyright conundrum, fresh off the press involving Bob Katter's Australia Party. On the weekend, the Australia Party launched an ad criticising Campbell Newman and his pro gay marriage stance, using photos sold to an online image library by a French photographer. The photographer isn't happy about the way his photos have been used, and post Australia's adoption of a comprehensive moral rights regime in 2000 (Part IX of the Copyright Act), we wonder if he has an action against the advert for moral rights infringement.

Follow the ADA on Twitter! Slowly but surely, the music and movie copyright cases are working their way back in to the ADA/ALCC newsletter! follow ADA_ellenbroad for more frequent updates using a lot less characters.

Queries with this email? Is there something you'd like to add? Feedback on this bulletin would be greatly appreciated, to help determine content and scope for future updates. Contact Ellen Broad, ADA/ALCC copyright adviser at ebroad@nla.gov.au or on (02) 6262 1273.