In December 2014, as part of the Federal Attorney-General’s and Minister for Communications’ inquiry into Online Copyright Infringement, internet service providers (ISPs) were tasked with drafting an industry code (Code) to address ISP liability in relation to users infringing copyright online including a process for notifying users when a copyright infringement had occurred. ISPs were given only 120 days to draft the Code and present it to the public for general comment before the Government would impose their own binding arrangements on the industry.
Arts Law’s submission on the Code highlights the importance of the online environment in providing new opportunities for creators, but also the loss of income for those creators due to the prevalence of piracy and copyright infringement online. Arts Law continues to support greater ISP liability and a graduated response scheme, however, the Code as drafted is primarily educative and provides little by way of sanctions. The obligation to impose an actual consequence on an infringing user is unfortunately still the responsibility of the artist and Arts Law would prefer that the Code also implemented penalties such as reduced internet speed, account suspension for limited periods of time and financial penalties.
Read Arts Law’s submission on the Code here.
The Copyright Notice Scheme Code 2015 was amended following consideration of 370 public submissions (including Arts Law) and submitted for registration to the Australian Communciations and Media Authority (ACMA) on 8 April 2015. For more information about the Code see the Communications Alliance press release.