More flexible, broader fair dealing provision recommended for Australian Copyright Act

Subject: More flexible, broader fair dealing provision recommended for Australian Copyright Act
From: Annabelle Herd (
Date: ke 30 syys   1998 - 03:17:35 EEST

For the information of ECUP list members,

The Australian Copyright Law Review Committee (CLRC), an independent
specialist advisory body created in 1983 to report to the Australian
Attorney-General on specific copyright law matters, has recommended
that a broader, more flexible fair dealing provision be introduced into > the Australian Copyright Act.

In Part 1 of its Report on the Simplification of the Australian
Copyright Act, the CLRC has made several far reaching recommendations
to simplify the exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright owners > under the Act,including fair dealing and library copying provisions.

Most importantly, the CLRC has recommended that the Australian fair
dealing provision (which currently only allows fair dealing for a
limited range of purposes) be expanded to be an 'open-ended' model
which refers to a non-exhaustive list of purposes, much like the US
fair use provision.

Among other recommendations, the CLRC has proposed that the complicated
and technical request and declaration system for library-to-user and
library-to-library copying (interlibrary loan and document supply) be
repealed completely, and furthermore, that libraries be able to make
copies for their users in any situation where the user would be able to
rely on the fair dealing provision, as opposed to the current
restriction to the research or study purpose. There are many other
recommendations in the Report.

The Report is quite long and detailed, but for those who are
interested, it is available on the CLRC's website at

It is important to remember that the recommendations contained in the
Report are merely recommendations at this stage, and it is impossible
to predict what action the Australian Government will take in
implementing the CLRC's proposals. Nonetheless, the strong general
acknowledgment of the library and copyright user public interest
position makes this Report an excellent result for the library

Kind regards,

Annabelle Herd
Copyright Research Officer
Australian Council of Libraries and Information Services
PO Box E 202 Kingston ACT 2604
PH: 02 6262 1273 FAX: 02 6273 2545

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