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Labor welcomes constructive approach to copyright reform.

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Labor Welcomes Constructive Approach To Copyright Reform Robert McClelland - Shadow Attorney-General

Media Statement - 29 June 2000

Labor welcomes the constructive approach taken by the government to copyright reform to make Australia's copyright laws relevant in the digital age, according to the Shadow Attorney-General, Robert McClelland.

Last night, the government accepted all but one of the amendments moved by Labor to the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Bill 1999. These amendments clarify the circumstances in which libraries can make digital copies of copyright works available online, and tighten the rules for the lawful use of copyright circumvention devices for purposes permitted under the Copyright Act.

"Labor's amendments will restrict the circumstances in which circumvention devices will be available, but still allow those people who have a lawful purpose - such as computer programmers who need to decompile software in accordance with the existing exceptions in the Act - to lawfully use these tools.

"Labor supported government amendments to its own Bill in response to a detailed report prepared by the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and tabled in December 1999. "Our amendments were consistent with the central aim of the Bill - to ensure that the copyright law provides a balance in continuing to promote creative endeavour, and at the same time, allows reasonable access to copyright material through new technologies by students, researchers, educational institutions and libraries.

"Negotiations with the government will continue on the remaining outstanding issues to be addressed before the Bill is passed by the Senate."

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.