On the 3rd Day of Copyright Christmas…

On the third day of Copyright Christmas, my true love gave to me: three copyright news articles,  two quick and easy ways to get my subject readings ready for 2017 and 1 copyright compliant video on Youtube.

Enjoy some copyright themed Christmas holiday readings with some recent copyright news articles.

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From The Age, Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour is the most illegally downloaded show in history.  The Grand Tour is Jeremy Clarkson’s replacement for Top Gear.  It’s available on Amazon’s video on demand platform but rather than pay to access the show, many people are choosing to download it illegally.  7.9 million people have downloaded it illegally – to put that into perspective a big event TV show in Australia like the AFL Grand Final or the Masterchef Finale would have 2-3 million viewers on free to air TV.  Of course, access to Amazon video is geoblocked in many countries which means that not everyone is able to access the Grand Tour even if they were willing to pay.  This is one of the unfortunate aspects to copyright, copyright owners have the right to decide where and when their work is made available so they can choose to only make it available in a particular country or to charge different prices for people in different countries to access.  This can be very frustrating for fans who want to access their favourite book, film, TV show, music or video game and as a result many fans will download material illegally if they can get access legitimately.  While restrictions like geoblocking are not an excuse for piracy, it’s important for copyright owners to think about how best to provide access for users which can help to reduce illegal downloads.

Remember if you are having trouble accessing content for University purposes because what you want has been geoblocked or doesn’t appear to be available via legitimate channels, come and talk to us as we can help you to find a legitimate copy of the work.

Carrying on our theme of infringing content, ABC News features an article about photographers dealing with instances where copies of their own work have been used without their permission – Stolen images: Limestone Coast photographers fighting back against online theft.  It is a common misconception that material available on the web is not protected by copyright and therefore if it is free to be shared or reused.  This is particularly so with images as they are easy to share on social media.  Often images do not have any attribution details or copyright information attached to them to let people know that copyright applies. In many cases permission is required from the photographer to share or use their work.  In past blog posts, we have often spoken about how you can source images that can be legitimately reused for research, teaching and other University activities.  If you’re very good maybe Santa will write an updated post on sourcing images for Copyright Christmas…..

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Our final article comes from News.com.au –  Australian celebrities join the copyright war amid debate over ‘fair use’ provisions.  The Productivity Commission recently conducted a review of Intellectual Property in Australia.  In it’s final report, the PC recommended the introduction of a  US style ‘fair use’ provision to replace the current fair dealing provision.  Back in 2012, the Australian Law Reform Commission also recommended the introduction of ‘fair use’ as part of their review of Copyright and the Digital economy.  As yet, the federal government has not yet responded to either the PC or the ALRC’s recommendation about whether or not it would consider introducing ‘fair use’.  However, author, creators, publishers and other content creators have already began a public campaign against ‘fair use’ (and some of the other recommendations) that they believe are harmful to authors and creators and could potentially threaten their livelihood. The University has indicated it’s support for ‘fair use’ as we believe that it will provide more flexibility to copyright and allow the law to better keep up with technology.  Fair use is important in that there are currently lots of actions that have minimal impact on authors and creators but are actually an infringement of copyright.  For example, it is legal for you to copy a music CD that you own onto your smart phone to listen to but it is not legal for you to copy a film from a DVD that you own to watch.  Fair use would address inconsistencies like that in the Copyright Act making it easier for people to understand what they can and cannot do.  This would help cut down on infringement and as a result protect the rights of authors and creators.  We’ll be talking lots more about fair use and possible amendments to copyright in 2017.

Image credits – Car image by Foundry, Frog image by Alexas_Fotos.  Both images from Pixabay.com