Robbery under arms: Copyright law and the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
AbstractThis article considers the radical, sweeping changes to Australian copyright law wrought by the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement 2004 (AUSFTA). It contends that the agreement will result in a “piracy of the public domain”. Under this new regime, copyright owners will be able to obtain greater monopoly profits at the expense of Australian consumers, libraries and research institutions, as well as intermediaries, such as Internet service providers. Part One observes that the copyright term extension in Australia to life of the author plus 70 years for works will have a negative economic and cultural impact — with Australia’s net royalty payments estimated to be up to $88 million higher per year. Part Two argues that the adoption of stronger protection of technological protection measures modelled upon the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (U.S.) will override domestic policy–making processes, such as the Phillips Fox Digital Agenda Review, and judicial pronouncements such as the Stevens v Sony litigation. Part Three questions whether the new safe harbours protection for Internet service providers will adversely affect the sale of Telstra. This article concludes that there is a need for judicial restraint in interpreting the AUSFTA. There is an urgent call for the Federal Government to pass ameliorating reforms — such as an open–ended defence of fair use and a mechanism for orphan works. There is a need for caution in negotiating future bilateral trade agreements — lest the multinational system for the protection of copyright law be undermined.
How to Cite
Rimmer, M. (2006). Robbery under arms: Copyright law and the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. First Monday, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v11i3.1316
Authors submitting a paper to First Monday automatically agree to confer a limited license to First Monday if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows First Monday to publish a manuscript in a given issue. Authors have a choice of: 1. Dedicating the article to the public domain. This allows anyone to make any use of the article at any time, including commercial use. A good way to do this is to use the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication Web form; see http://creativecommons.org/license/publicdomain-2?lang=en. 2. Retaining some rights while allowing some use. For example, authors may decide to disallow commercial use without permission. Authors may also decide whether to allow users to make modifications (e.g. translations, adaptations) without permission. A good way to make these choices is to use a Creative Commons license. * Go to http://creativecommons.org/license/. * Choose and select a license. * What to do next — you can then e–mail the license html code to yourself. Do this, and then forward that e–mail to First Monday’s editors. Put your name in the subject line of the e–mail with your name and article title in the e–mail. Background information about Creative Commons licenses can be found at http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/. 3. Retaining full rights, including translation and reproduction rights. Authors may use the statement: © Author 2016 All Rights Reserved. Authors may choose to use their own wording to reserve copyright. If you choose to retain full copyright, please add your copyright statement to the end of the article. Authors submitting a paper to First Monday do so in the understanding that Internet publishing is both an opportunity and challenge. In this environment, authors and publishers do not always have the means to protect against unauthorized copying or editing of copyright–protected works.