Action must be taken to rebalance intellectual property (IP) arrangements, according to a draft report released by Australia’s Productivity Commission.
The report concludes that a good IP system balances the interests of rights holders and users, but that Australia’s system has swung too far in favour of vocal rights holders and influential IP exporting nations.
Copyright is also questioned:
Copyright is important for rewarding creative endeavour. But in Australia, it is more a case of ‘copy(not)right’. Copyright is pervasive, affecting everyone from hip hop artists sampling music, school children watching a documentary in class, libraries and museums preserving Australia’s history, to innovative researchers accessing databases for data mining.
Copyright protection lasts too long — a book written today by an author who lives for another 50 years will be protected until 2136.
The Productivity Commission argues that to correct these imbalances, Australia needs a new, principles-based, fair use exception, to protect user rights without undermining the incentive to create.
The Commission is inviting submissions on the draft report by 3 June 2016 and will hold public hearings in June.