Copyright Regulations 1969 Act replacement: aka U.S. style DMCA, fines, notice schemes, censorship

The Communications Department has put out an exposure draft for less than a month of consultation to replace the existing Copyright Regulations 1969 act.

It looks like a rights-holders wishlist, I doubt Labor will opposite it unless we find/run a campaign point to wedge them on something, I suspect the gov intends to rush it through by the end of the year and hope no one notices.

I’m seeing in it:

  • an expanded US style DMCA
  • expanded censorship mechanism for rights-holders.
  • Rightsholders -> ISP user notice scheme
  • It looks like it has an infringement fine scheme, $2,520 per infringement.

We need help to digest and understand it, here’s a pad, everyone please help:


(edit more links)
Discussion paper:

Exposure draft Copyright Regulations 2017:

Exposure draft Copyright Legislation Amendment (Technological Protection Measures) Regulations 2017:

Existing Copyright Regulations 1969 legislation, expiring April 2018:



Jeebus, 18 working days for a “Consultation Peroid” ! thats a new low. No doubt it will be a truckload of industry wishlist shite to be pushed through on Christmas eve by their lackies.


They do recognise one of our requests or recommendations from one of the previous inquiries, but compare it to the AFACT submission and, typically, side against us.

I’ve been digging through this on and off this weekend. The ZDNET article does a quite good analysis by simply explaining the changes in a neutral tone. One thing that’s really struck me that I’m struggling to understand is that it looks like the general public fair dealing exceptions (research, review, criticism, parody, satire, news) now seem to be limited to students enrolled in an educational institute.

While there’s been a bit of chatter about ‘US-style DMCA like provisions’ my unprofessional unhumble opinion is that the DMCA would at least partially be a step up. It makes reference to fair use and has safe harbour provisions for online content portals like Youtube, social media etc.

The good is that it updates the exceptions for TPM circumvention in (now increasingly) restricted fair dealing cases.

I think I’m ready to knock out an initial PR declaring red alert to our followers. I’m also interested in calling a discussion workshop with the QCCL etc up here in Bris. @rundll @AndrewDowning what are your thoughts on analysis so far?

Yes, that part is particularly disturbing. Does it mean that you can’t even quote something publicly unless you’re a government authorised student?

There appears to be an exemption for Crown purposes :wink: the fair dealing exemptions are also graciously extended to people carrying out research at an educational institute, copies for libraries/archives, and copies by/for people with disabilities (per the governments ratification and implementation of the Marrakesh WIPO treaty last year).

I’m still analysing the exposure draft for the full implications so I can be sure about what I’m saying… there are some caveats because it needs to be read alongside the Copyright Act 1968

We need to move fast to make noise on this. I can probably get an emergency discussion workshop going in meatspace within the fortnight, but I’d like to suggest an online/teleconferenced workshop as well. We’ll need to do some brainstorming about entities to bring onboard. Anyone got suggestions for national bodies to approach? Roughly glancing over the bodies that have made submissions so far, a lot are probably unfriendly to us and our approach.

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Of course the Crown would always grant itself an exemption.

It’s a real problem for independent research and peer review, especially when the qualified peers have already graduated and don’t have tenure somewhere.

11 Days Remaining.

The interesting thing is that exemptions around parody and satire are attached to academia. In fact, those things are much more a part of journalism. It seems like there was some sort of blind cut and paste where there “wrapped” the old fair dealing exemptions in “academia”, limiting their use but not understanding the legal traditions around parody and satire.

Copying for broadcast is still allowed.

It seems that they wanted to severely limit the institutions which could do fair dealing, to just “academia”; they’re cutting of institutions …

But, in its favor, it does allow for reverse engineering to facilitate interoperability, and does not enforce access management merely to enforce regions.

I plan to talk about it on my show tomorrow, ideally with @MarkG and Richard Volpato.


OK, the plot thickens …

These are regulations, and as far as I can tell, no change to the Act is contemplated. The Copyright Act, 1968 gives general exemptions for “research”, “parody” and “satire”. But the licenses are much broader for lecturers and patent attorneys and so on, where you can get more than the “10%”.

My understanding is that the Act takes precedence over the regulations.

It is nevertheless interesting that broadcasting and research in an academic institution is explictly brought up in the regulations, which the fair use categories ( parodies etc. ) being brought in explicitly. I’m still puzzled as to what is going on, but the concern that we had about only being allowed fair dealing in an academic institution seems misplaced.

Unless I misunderstand. The Act is not changing, right?

The Act is listed here :


Yes that was my reading. I was under the impression the new regulations would function as an amendment to the act, not that they would be subordinate to the act. Either way I don’t think the new regulations restricting the far dealing exemptions to institutions will conflict with the act.

I’ve put some thoughts down but I don’t think I’m confident enough to release a PR or submission on this basis. We need an actual lawyer to look into this.


In addition to talking about copyright with @MarkG and Richard Volpato, I also commented on the cancellation of the show Dark Matter, something @rundll put me onto. Here’s the content if you want to have a listen :

Mr. Bashful phoned me up about it, so there was a reaction :slight_smile:

OK, here’s the two discussions - we have @MarkG on the line, and also Richard Volpato. @rundll - something you might want to have a listen to, I know from discussion you would challenge some of what Richard was saying.

Lots of other “Roving Spotlight” material if you want to have a listen!

I’ve added to the pad if anyone else want to have a go. I’ll try to get something together by the deadline.


Making a mental note to check in and help if I can.

John A has made a draft submission for us:

Make your changes now, now is your last chance before @alexjago gets it sent off on Friday (The due date)


Hard to edit pad on my phone, but these lines from our policy seem important …

Make distributors liable for technological protection measures that interfere with the exercise of free-use exceptions and exemptions.


Require products sold with technological protection measures to be accompanied by information on the nature of the restrictions and any tracking or data collection imposed.

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As I mentioned in last night’s NC meeting, I’d like for the text to be generally finalised by midnight tonight. Due date is 5pm AEST tomorrow.

Here’s the Submissions Standard:

Here’s an example of a previous good, detailed submission:

I’d point out that apart from Tom I was the only person to make any contribution to the pad on this topic for some length of time. Nobody helps contribute when you’re getting started, but they’re willing to point out problems once you have. Nobody pointed out these standards to me, and as far as I knew the only thing I received was encouragement to make an effort.

Next time I’ll just make a personal submission and leave it at that. I’d be happy to withdraw from pirate involvement and just make a personal submission on this one, FWIW.

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I think you’ll probably find it’s AEDT, not AEST. :wink: