Australian Law Reform Commission Copyright Report Recommends Introduction of Fair Use
The inquiry looked into whether the exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment. Among other things, the ALRC was asked to consider whether further exceptions should recognise fair use of copyright material.
The major recommendation is the introduction of such a fair use policy [from the Summary Report]:
"Fair use is a defence to copyright infringement that essentially asks of any particular use: Is this fair? In deciding whether a particular use of copyright material is fair, a number of principles, or ‘fairness factors’, must be considered."
"The case for fair use made in the Report is based on several arguments, including:
- Fair use is flexible and technology-neutral.Fair use promotes public interest and transformative uses.
- Fair use assists innovation.
- Fair use better aligns with reasonable consumer expectations.
- Fair use helps protect rights holders’ markets.
- Fair use is sufficiently certain and predictable.
- Fair use is compatible with moral rights and international law."