23 Jul 2013

Govt puts copyright law review on hold

9:35 am on 23 July 2013

The Government is delaying a review of copyright laws until the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are over, saying it would not be practical while the talks are underway.

The setback has frustrated the Telecommunications Users Association which says the review is long overdue after already being delayed for five years.

Association chief executive Paul Brislen has grave fears for the current copyright laws, which he says are being flouted by just about anybody with an internet connection.

He says the Government can't afford to wait for a trade deal that may or may not happen, and should just get on with the review.

"My fear is - as some one who relies on copyright for income - that we are in fact training a generation of people to treat copyright as an annoyance."

Mr Brislen says there is a worry the Americans are pushing for copyright time extensions under the TPP negotiations, which could tie up access to material for a long time.

He is concerned the American approach is built around protecting an antiquated system of defined access and limits on what can and can't be done with content, rather than making content available to people to download and use as they wish.

"So we're really stuck in an old world order with a new world technology, which I just don't think is working terribly well for anyone."