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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26409

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (9:04 PM) —My advice is that the CIE report did make reference to these matters. In relation to the extension to the copyright term of 20 years, it recognised that in some instances this could impose costs on consumers. It found that these costs are unlikely to be significant and are difficult to quantify. The CIE report also noted that copyright obligations in relation to technological protection measures and Internet service provider liability may impose costs on consumers and Internet service providers respectively, but the costs are impossible to quantify.

The amendments implementing the ISP liability obligations have been done so as to minimise costs for ISPs. You have to look at that specific issue to a background where the outcomes are that the copyright amendments will bring Australia in line with international norms and the practice of the world's largest IP market whilst preserving Australia's traditional balance between owners and users. The amendments will benefit Australian exporters by creating a more familiar and certain legal environment, thereby reducing transaction costs, and will help Australian innovators by helping them attract US investment. That is the flipside to the very pessimistic assessment of both the Greens and the Democrats. It demonstrates to our trading partners the benefits of strong intellectual property laws and reinforces Australia's reputation as one of the world's leading countries in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.