Copyright that makes sense. That’s fair.
Australia’s copyright law is hopelessly out of date. Things that we all take for granted – forwarding emails; quoting; making and sharing memes; cloud storage – are often illegal in Australia. Fair use would fix this.
Right now the government is considering whether to introduce fair use. Let’s tell them – we need fair use now.
Why you need fair use
Australians break copyright law everyday. Do you ever:
- Share photos you didn’t take on social media?
- Repost or create memes or mashups?
- Back-up your DVDs?
- Forward an email?
- Photograph a billboard or mural?
If you have done any of the above, it’s likely you’ve infringed Australia’s archaic copyright law.
You may not realise how often this occurs – when consumer group CHOICE surveyed Australians they found that there was a high level of confusion about what was legal and what was not. That’s unsurprising, as the law is currently full of technicalities that make no sense. Want to backup a VHS? That’s fine. Backup a DVD? That’s infringement.
Fair use is a rule that exists in the US, Israel, South Korea and other countries that says it’s ok to use copyright material in ways that are fair. Adding it to our copyright system would legalise everyday uses that don’t harm the copyright owner. It would also help our schools, universities, libraries, museums, galleries, start-ups and creators. Fair use is good for you, and good for Australia.