The industries relying on limitations and exceptions to copyright are a sizable part of Australia’s economy.
Copyright can strengthen the incentive to create by affording content owners exclusive rights to exploit their work. This can bring into existence work that would not otherwise exist, generating economic benefits.
A content owner’s exclusive rights are subject to limitations and exceptions.
These mediate the respective rights of the myriad participants in the copyright eco-system, where increasingly intellectual property outputs are developed from intellectual property inputs, where creators are also users, users are creators and copyright material cannot be distributed digitally without copies being made.
Limitations and exceptions determine questions like:
- How much may be quoted from a copyrighted work without permission?
- In what circumstances can someone who has a legitimate copyrighted work change the format in which it has been supplied, or the time and place at which they use it?
- Where intermediaries make digital copies of copyrighted works to help disseminating them to legitimate users, in what, if any, circumstances must they obtain explicit permission?
This report was prepared for the Australian Digital Alliance by John Houghton and Nicholas Gruen, Lateral Economics.
A companion report, Excepting the future, makes the economic case for flexible copyright exceptions and extended safe harbour provisions.