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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26419

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (9:47 PM) —I want to respond to Senator Lundy.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Hutchins)—Minister, I am not sure whether Senator Harris has any questions so that we can do it all at once.

Senator HILL —If I do not do it this way, I will let Senator Lundy down because she will have been passed by. I want to answer the question that she raised, which I thought was an interesting one: it is principally a draftsman's decision. The language that is within the agreement is not commonly included within our criminal law but, interestingly, page 133 of the explanatory memorandum states:

The offence is intended to implement the obligation under the Agreement that criminal procedures and remedies apply to a person who has committed significant wilful infringement of copyright on a commercial scale ...

In effect, it picks up the words that are in the agreement. In relation to the term `knowingly', I presume there would have to be intent or recklessness. Again, it was unnecessary for the parliamentary draftsman to specifically state that. That is the explanation I have been given.

Because I was searching for that answer, I missed the specific question that Senator Ridgeway asked. I heard him talking about the circumstances at home where somebody might be copying from vinyl onto tape. Senator Ferguson has done a lot of that in his time! I am not sure what the specific question was. If it was whether I believe that the changes that exist in this implementing legislation will lead to further litigation, we do not think so, because the focus is still on piracy on a commercial scale.