The Australian Government has overhauled our copyright laws yet again, and — in a move that goes against legal trends elsewhere in the world — giants such as Facebook and Google won’t be granted safe harbour protection.
This law protects internet companies from users who breach copyright on their platforms. While ISPs are currently protected by this law in Australia — meaning that Dodo aren’t responsible for the hard-drive filled with illegal Gilmore Girls episodes sitting on your desk as I type this — Google and Facebook aren’t, meaning they need to act swiftly to stamp out any copyright breaches on their platforms.
It goes without saying this is a momentum task, and maybe an impossible one given the pace of technology and the breadth of their network.
The new laws do, however, protect libraries, plus educational and cultural institutions – those who Communications Minister Mitch Fifield says, “provide beneficial services to all Australians and who are working collaboratively with copyright owners to address infringement”.
Fifield further explained how vital it is to protect copyright.
“Australia’s copyright industries make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural life, including collectively generating approximately AUS$122.8 billion in economic activity, AUS$6.5 billion in exports and employing more than one million Australians”.