[NetBehaviour] New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Nov 21 10:10:22 CET 2006
New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians.
The Internet Industry Association today warned that changes to
Australia’s copyright laws being rushed through Parliament risked making
criminals out of everyday Australians.
The IIA which represents a broad range of internet businesses in
Australia, in conjunction with the QUT Law Faculty Intellectual Property
Research Program, has identified a number of scenarios which could trip
up Australians in their everyday use of copyrighted materials.
Said IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos: “We can’t be sure if this is
the government's intent, or whether there has been a terrible oversight
in the drafting of this Bill. Either way, the consequences for the
average Australian family could be devastating.”
“As an example,” said Mr Coroneos, “a family who holds a birthday picnic
in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo)
and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others,
risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they
make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the
possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a
song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it
can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for
illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this
series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or
improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal
liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offences.”
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