Safe Copyright Harbour In Australia

Posted on May 16, 2017 by ORC Editor

Safe Copyright Harbour In Australia

Back in March, Australia changed her mind on extending its copyright safe harbor provisions to include such platforms as Google, Facebook and YouTube. Now the topic is discussed again, and the Australian government has just announced a new consultation, which is intended to encourage the growth of the digital economy while protecting rights owners.

Australia’s system differs from that adopted in the US, where so-called safe harbor provisions apply to ISPs and tech firms like Google and Facebook. In Australia, such companies are offered reduced protection. This is why amendments were proposed to Australia’s Copyright Act to include search engines and social networks into the list of entities granted the right to use safe harbor provisions.

However, in March the government dropped the amendments half way, even after the approval of the Prime Minister. Instead, the government has announced a further consultation on extending the safe harbor provisions of the Copyright Act, saying that an expanded safe harbor regime would be able to provide a useful mechanism for copyright owners to have content that infringes their copyright removed from the service providers. The government also assured that an expanded regime would also ensure that providers are not held to account for the infringing actions of their customers, if they have taken reasonable steps to take down the infringing content.

The next step is for the Department of Communications to oversee a series of meetings and roundtable discussions with all the interested parties and then deliver advice to the government.


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