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Photocopying: Copyright



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SENATOR DURACK - I am aware of the Senate Committee's

very interesting and valuable report on this matter. It

is being studied at the present moment. The Government

has given an undertaking that. it will respond to

parliamentary reports within a period of, I think, six

months. Time does go very fast around here but I do not

think that the six months has gone by yet.

SENATOR MISSEN - Five months. .

SENATOR DURACK - Five months, is it? I thank the

honourable senator for that information. The matter has

an even greater degree of urgency that I had realised.

I certainly will inquire into what progress is being

made in relation to the report but I do not expect that

there will be any response, certainly of a formal

character, within the next week. However, I am grateful

for having had my attention drawn to this matter and to

the time that has elapsed and I will take some action

in relation to it. ,

*****

SENATE NO. 22

21 November 1978

Page 2252

PHOTOCOPYING: COPYRIGHT

SENATOR TEAGUE - My question is directed to · the

Attorney-General and concerns the Franki report on the

Photocopying of articles and books which was submitted

by the then Attorney-General in October 1976. I refer

to a Press release of June this year by the

Attorney-General which announced:

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A new scheme to permit schools, universities

and other educational institutions to photocopy­

literary works and testbooks without infringing

copyright will soon be introduced into the Parliament.

When will the Government introduce

legislation to implement the recommendations of the

report? Is it still intended that the legislation will

implement the report's recommendations? If not, which

recommendations are unacceptable to the Government, and

why?

SENATOR DURACK - Some time ago I announced the

Government's decision on the Franki report. I think it

was probably in the statement I made on 25 June this

year, to which Senator Teague referred. It was to the

effect that the Copyright Act will be amended to

provide for a licence for educational authorities to

photocopy books or parts of books and to provide for

the author to be entitled to a fee for such copying.

Educational authorities will be required to keep

records of photocopies taken. The records will have to

be kept in a form that will enable a person whose works

have been copied to obtain details of that copying

without having to examine the details of other copying.

The legislation to give effect to the. Government's

decision which I announced then is in the course of

preparation and is well advanced. It has been my hope

that the legislation would be available for

introduction in the present sittings of the Parliament.

Unfortunately it has not been possible to have it ready

by this week, which is expected to be the end of these

sittings. However, it should be ready for introduction

early in the next sittings.

The legislation will, as I said, implement

the Franki Committee report in the broad. There may be

some details which will be at variance with some

aspects of that report. I think it was in the area of

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the keeping of records and how records could be kept

that there might be some not so much differences as

extensions of recommendations in that report. However,

I am not in a position at the moment to give a detailed

catalogue of such differences, if any. Indeed, I think

the final picture will have to wait until the

legislation is introduced and these matters can be

considered. Ample time, will be given to people to

consider the Bill. We do not intend to bring it on for

debate until all interested people have had adequate

time to consider it.

SENATOR TEAGUE - I ask a supplementary question. In the

meantime, is it lawful for teaching departments to

photocopy half a dozen copies of articles or books for

teaching purposes?

SENATOR DURACK - The honourable senator is seeking a

straight legal opinion. I do not really decline to

answer the question on that gound but this is a very

technical area. I think it would be very unwise for me

to give an opinion off the cuff on such a techinical

area. In fact there has been a decision of the Supreme

Court of New South Wales in regard to the matter. I

think that everybody concerned in educational

institutions is pretty well aware of the situation and

takes steps to try to minimise any risk of breaches of

the law. But it is a difficult area. There are obvious

rights of copyright owners. Whether there is any breach

of the law depends very much on the way in which

educational institutions conduct their affairs.

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