Australian Fair Use?

There could be plans for  a major copyright reform headed to Australia soon. Sources say that Australia might be looking into adding a fair use doctrine which would similarly represent that of the one already present in the United States. This would be a step away from fair dealing, which is already in place in Australia and other Commonwealth countries. Fair dealing is targeted more towards businesses than toward creating and promoting innovation.

The goal of the transformation has clearly been defined in a statement issued by Dr. Sean Rintel, Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia. Dr. Rintel is quoted saying :

“A broad fair use exception will enable greater innovation and creativity, will promote a higher degree of respect for copyright among Australian consumers and will remove a number of significant impediments to the development of a vibrant and competitive Australian cloud services industry.”

I believe that this adaptation of Fair Use is currently working well in the United States and it is something that Australia should fully consider. There is no shortage of creativity and innovation in the United States and Australia should get on the ball and adapt there laws to match those of what is going on in society. More and more societies are leaning and progressing towards a more open and sharing nature. This is, in it’s own way, becoming the norms for most societies. Australia needs to step away from the interest of businesses and more towards the preservation of creativity.

However, this transformation is still in the works and should be expected too soon due to major hurdles. This proposal was already passed along to Attorney-General George Brandis, in which he expressed his doubt in the proposal calling it too controversial. While it is true that the proposal might be controversial to Australia, I believe it is a step forward. There needs to be a step forward in promoting creativity.


Higgins, Parker. “Fair Use May Be Headed Down Under | Electronic Frontier Foundation.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. N.p., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.


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