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Copyright reform weakened



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53

λ MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

3 SENATOR MICHAEL TATE

21 August 1991

COPYRIGHT REFORM WEAKENED

The combined efforts of the Opposition and the Australian Democrats in the Senate have frustrated a Government move to give Australians quicker and better access to overseas published books.

The Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Senator Michael Tate, said today the Government's Copyright Amendment Bill included a "30 day rule", allowing booksellers to import copies of new overseas titles if the book is not published

locally within 30 days.

"But the Democrat/Opposition amendment allows a publisher to escape this rule, simply by taking certain steps to bring out an Australian edition", Senator Tate said.

"As a result, an overseas publisher will be able to deny Australians full access to a new book indefinitely - simply on the ground that the time is required to prepare an Australian edition".

Senator Tate said Australian readers - including students, teachers, academics and researchers - should have a right to full access to any title, if the overseas publisher has not brought it out in Australia within 30 days of first overseas release.

"This is a strong pro-competition reform following investigations by the Copyright Law Review Committee and the Prices Surveillance Authority.

"It is my earnest hope that publishers will not take advantage of the loophole given to them by the Democrats and the Opposition, and thereby frustrate the Government's efforts to provide early and cheap access to new titles", Senator Tate said.

For information contact Adrian Wild or Shaun Gath - (06) 277 7260

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