Submission: Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021

NSLA’s response to the exposure draft of the Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021 and Review of Technological Protection Measures Exceptions sets out the positive effects and potential limitations of the proposed amendments for libraries and archives, and proposes a number of changes to avoid negative impacts.

Executive summary

NSLA libraries welcome the proposed amendments in the interests of public access to national collections.

These important changes address long-held concerns regarding outdated copyright provisions and allow libraries to use the technologies available to us to provide faster and more equitable access to the collections we hold. The urgency of these changes has become particularly apparent in the face of a global pandemic that has seen an exponential increase in the demand for remote access to library collections and educational materials. This demand has not waned even when lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

Improved access to collections is of distinct benefit to all Australians, and particularly so for those who live in regional and remote areas; who have a disability; or who are otherwise prevented from visiting a large library in their state or territory capital.

In particular, NSLA supports:

  • the clarification that unfair licensing practices are sufficient to deem materials not commercially available, as part of the commercial availability test
  • the quotation exception, provided that it is extended to include unpublished material
  • transfer of current TPM exemptions to the new exceptions, and
  • retention of broad, flexible guidelines for ‘reasonable search’ where copyright owners are unknown.

The full submission is available to download below.

Submission: Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021