In August 2012, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) published the Copyright and the Digital Economy Issues Paper (Issues Paper), inviting responses to a series of questions to assist its inquiry into whether the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act) is adequate and appropriate in the digital environment.
The Department of Treasury and Finance coordinated the Victorian Government’s response to the Issues Paper, available here
The Victorian Government’s submission was prepared in consultation with all departments and relevant agencies. It was approved by the Assistant Treasurer, as the Minister responsible for the Intellectual Property Policy.
The key aspects of the Victorian Government’s submission include that:
• the statutory licensing scheme concerning the use of copyright material by the Crown in the Act is appropriate;
• the statutory licensing scheme has a number of inadequacies which can make its application complex, uncertain or inflexible, creating high costs and inefficiency for the Victorian Government;
• the Act should be amended to address these inadequacies and improve the statutory licensing scheme;
• the Act fundamentally impedes the Victorian body administering archives, the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), in digitising records and making them available online;
• the Act should be amended to allow greater digitisation and communication of works by or on behalf of PROV; and
• the current legislative regime for orphan works poses significant restrictions to the use of, access to and dissemination of records by PROV and should be amended.