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Copyright legislation in need of serious reconsideration



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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA ยท THE SENATE

SENATOR CHRISTOPHER PUPLICK SHADOW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT. ARTS A N D THE BICENTENARY

IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS STATEMENT

All/88 7.12.88

COPYRIGHT LEGISLATION IN NEED OF SERIOUS RECONSIDERATION

Serious problems are emerging for numerous individuals, groups and organizations within the entertainment and arts industries as a result of changes being proposed to

Copyright legislation by the Labor Government.

The Copyright Amendment Bill now before the Senate contains

many worthwhile initiatives which are supported by the Federal Opposition. Our recently released Arts Policy supports the imposition of a royalty on blank audio tapes to provide financial support for composers and performers; endorses the provision of assistance to the Contemporary Music Development Company; pledges adherence to the Rome

Convention on the protection of performers' rights and seeks the extension of copyright protection to choreological works recorded on film or video.

However, in the early hours of the morning of 25 November the Government introduced further amendments to the

legislation which were rammed through the House of

Representatives without debate.

One of the consequences of these amendments has been to

introduce an element of retrospectivity into Copyright law in a way which will prove to be both impractical and unfair. Difficulties will arise in particular for the recording industry and some commercial broadcasters.

Further difficulties may arise in relation to rebroadcast of news and current affairs material.

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While the Opposition wishes to see most of these proposed changes to Copyright legislation as they affect artists and performers enacted, I believe a very strong case now exists for this legislation to be deferred to the next

Parliamentary session in order to allow closer examination of some of the issues which I have raised and in order to allow representatives of the entertainment industry to

consider their position and make the necessary

representations to the Parliament for further amendment to this very complex area of the law.

ENDS

For further information contact Senator Puplick on (062) 773128