Australian Consumers are breaking copyright laws out of ignorance: study

Australian Consumers are breaking copyright laws
out of ignorance: study

Australia’s current copyright regime has led to a
situation where one in seven consumers are actively
breaking the law without even knowing it.
The finding comes as part of a new study from consumer
watchdog, CHOICE.
The group found that around 8 per cent of Australians
happily shift music from one device – like an iPod – to
another – an iPad – without realising that their action is
illegal under the current copyright regime.
“It’s also illegal to copy a video file, say from a DVD,
onto another device like a tablet, but that has not
stopped 9 per cent of Australians who say they have done
it,” , CHOICE director of campaigns and communications
Matt Levey said.
“Hardly surprising, given that 57 per cent of Australians
told us they believe this action is legal.”
Mr Levey says Australia’s copyright laws are stuck in the
VHS cassette era, and require a revamp in order to catch
to new and emerging digital distribution methods.
The group is advocating the implementation of a “Fair
Use” clause with the purchase and distribution of digital
content. The idea was raised during the Australian Law
Reform Commission review into Australia’s copyright laws.
“Fair Use will allow consumers greater use of content
they legally own, while at the same time protecting
content producers and artists,” Mr Levey said.
“America has a Fair Use system, and is one of the largest
producers of copyrighted content in the world.”

“Allegations that Fair Use will encourage piracy are
ludicrous, and exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of
how a Fair Use system will work.”


Regional Project Officer
Consumers International
Office of the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 7726 1599

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