ALRC Copyright Inquiry e-news

29 June 2012

Welcome to the Inquiry

from Professor Jill McKeough

Last month I joined the ALRC as the Commissioner in Charge of the Copyright Inquiry, taking leave from my role as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney. The Terms of Reference we received today set an ambitious agenda for a major review of copyright issues in the digital environment. We have been informed that over sixty submissions were made to the Government on the draft Terms of Reference and the goodwill from stakeholders and high level of interest in the Inquiry bodes well for the process.  

I have found at the ALRC a keen team of legal officers and support staff and together we have begun preliminary consultations, scoping out the complex and challenging issues. I am looking forward to meeting more stakeholders over the coming period as the Inquiry gets underway and am delighted to be part of this important work.

We hope to release an Issues Paper in August.

Terms of Reference received

Under the final Terms of Reference received today, the ALRC is to consider whether exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment and whether further exceptions should be recommended.

See full Terms of Reference >>

The ALRC is due to report by the end of November 2013.

We will use this newsletter to keep you informed of the Inquiry’s progress and to seek input at specific stages. We will consult key stakeholders throughout the Inquiry, with the first call for formal submissions occurring upon the release of an Issues Paper. (See ‘The inquiry process’ below.)

As with all ALRC inquiries, the process works best with as much stakeholder participation as possible. If you know of anyone you think might be interested in this inquiry, please invite them to subscribe to this newsletter.

The inquiry process

As we kick off a new inquiry, it is timely to describe the ALRC law reform process to new stakeholders.

While each inquiry process differs and needs to be tailored to accommodate the scope, the range of key stakeholders, the complexity of the laws under review and the timeframe, the ALRC usually works within a set framework in developing recommendations for reform….

The law reform process >>

Kirby Cup 2012

The Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition is a unique opportunity for law students to consider the role of law reform and law reform agencies in Australia. To enter, law students must provide a written paper (no more than 4000 words) on a given topic of law reform. This year’s topic is clearly aligned with the ALRC’s current work:

Suggest one or more new statutory exceptions for the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), consistent with Australia’s international legal obligations, and explain why it/they should be introduced. Alternatively, explain why further exceptions should not be introduced.

For the 2012 competition, written papers are due to the ALRC by Friday 24 August 2012. See Guidelines for the competition >>

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