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Tuesday, 16 September 2003
Page: 15361

Senator Webber asked the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, upon notice, on 25 August 2003:

Will the Minister seek to amend copyright legislation to make it easier to prosecute all individuals involved in subscription television service piracy, including both the providers and the users of pirated goods: if so: when is it expected these amendments will come before the Parliament; if not, why not.

Senator Alston (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000 introduced specific amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 to enable broadcasters to bring actions in relation to subscription television signal piracy. These provisions allow actions to be taken against individuals who manufacture and supply devices that allow unauthorised access to encoded broadcast signals, and individuals who access these signals in relation to a business or trade (eg to display a pay television service in a hotel without paying a subscription fee).

The Government is currently conducting a 3-year review of the Digital Agenda reforms, to ensure that they provide an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners, users and distributors such as pay television providers. The scope and application of the pay television piracy provisions will be considered as part of this review. The review is scheduled to be completed in 2004.