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Thursday, 4 May 1989
Page: 1829


Senator TATE (Minister for Justice)(5.52) —The Government has not moved from its position. It believes that this can best be done by way of regulation. The Copyright Tribunal, after all, is a most expert body. It has the capacity to set rates and to take relevant information into account, probably by doing sampling surveys of the institutions concerned, which vary as to the external studies programs which they offer to students who undertake courses from a point so far removed from the campus concerned that they cannot be given normal class room tutorial assistance.

The idea was that that Tribunal, with that expertise and carrying out those surveys, would be able to take into account a rate for external students that would enable it to discount the royalty rate payable by institutions to the extent that the copying could be described as an equivalent to fair copying. Some assessment of that has to take place to prevent any abuse of the copying, which would be the case if there were an outright exemption. Accordingly, we believe that institutions such as those that have a large external studies program will pay no more for copying for external students than they probably do at present when it is all boiled down. The fact is that this will be in the hands of the Tribunal concerned rather than the Parliament attempting to do it by some waving of the wand. In short, we still believe that our system remains the best of the three alternatives that have been put before the chamber.