Recent copyright news and developments

Copyright news and developments, and changes to copyright law and policy are highlighted here and incorporated when relevant, into the information provided in the Copyright Guide.

Copyright Agency Agreement

For many years, all 39 universities have had an agreement in place with Copyright Agency, negotiated for the sector by Universities Australia. The agreement historically set out the amount that universities were required to pay for statutory licence copying, and the administrative arrangements that applied to that copying.

The last agreement terminated on 31 December 2018. After a period of negotiation, the universities and Copyright Agency couldn't agree on the amount to be paid from January 2019. So, in November 2018, Copyright Agency commenced proceedings in the Copyright Tribunal to ask it to decide for the parties what the amount and administrative arrangements should be.

You can read more about this in What's going on with copyright agency and the universities? (PDF, 419KB).

Safe Harbour Expansion

This amendment took effect on 29 December 2018. The "safe harbour scheme" which gives organisations additional legal protections from liability for copyright infringing activities on their network and services under certain conditions has been extended to organisations including schools, universities and disability organisations.

You can read more about it in the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee's Copyright Safe Harbour Quick Checklist (PDF, 296KB).

Site-Blocking Legislation - Section 115A of the Copyright Act

This amendment took effect on 11 December 2018. Section 115A enables the Federal Court to grant an injunction requiring a service provider to take reasonable steps to block access to online locations which infringe copyright and have the primary purpose of infringing copyright or facilitating the infringement of copyright.

You can read more about it in the Australian Copyright Council's updated information sheets:

Information in the Copyright Guide has been updated to reflect the changes.