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Friday, 2 December 1983
Page: 3233

Senator ZAKHAROV —Has the Attorney-General seen a joint media release by the Musicians' Union of Australia, Actors Equity of Australia, the Australian Record Industry Association and the Australian Book Publishers Association, welcoming his statement on a possible royalty on blank tapes? Does the Government plan to introduce such a royalty, which could help maintain employment for Australian performers and workers in the Australian record industry?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I have seen the release to which the honourable senator referred. On 11 November in a speech to the Copyright Society of Australia and the Australian Communications Law Association, I reported on the review of the Copyright Act that my Department had been carrying out. In that speech I foreshadowed the possibility of a royalty being applied to blank audio and video tapes, the amount of such royalty to be determined by the Copyright Tribunal. I also raised the possibility of increased penalties to ensure better control of the pirating of video tapes. The reaction that has been received to date to those proposals has been very favourable. When the review is completed I will assess all the responses and take into account the further matters relating to employment in the industry that Senator Zakharov has mentioned. I expect to be in a position early in 1984 to take firm proposals to Cabinet and Caucus in this respect and to prepare a Bill which will lie on the table for public comment.