Australian Copyright Amendment Bill

The Australian Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 (with added/extra/more amendments for zing) passed the House of Representatives a bit after 4pm today. These changes will most likely be law by January 2007.

Being a critic generally I can’t help but point out that these are changes all aimed at helping consumers. Small businesses that deal with, but don’t sell, copyright material, and who aren’t dealing with counterfeit goods, still run risks under the legislation. That is because various provisions that make it criminal to make copies ‘for commercial advantage’ remain – these catch you whether you are selling or not, so could catch the ‘extra-license’ copies I talked about with my colleague Jeremy Gans in the past. Weatherall’s Law [1]

It looks like there have been many changes made to clear consumers, and assist the bill through the vote. I think we will still need to wait for a clear view of the impact of these changes to see how the Bill will be enforced. The legislation is set for review in March 2008.

[1] Australian government pulls a swifty on me: more amendments to the Copyright Bill that I hadn’t picked up (2006-12-05) [Weatherall’s Law]
[2] Backdown on draconian laws (2006-12-05) [The AGE]
[3] Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 [ParlInfo Web]

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