Copyright Amendment Disability and Other Measures Bill
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan—Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (18:33): I rise today to speak in support of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017. As the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, I have a particular interest in this bill because it introduces a range of amendments that will: (1) streamline and simplify the existing copyright exceptions and limitations for the use of copyright material by the disability sector; (2) simplify the preservation exceptions for copyright material in libraries, archives and key cultural institutions; and (3) consolidate and modernise the statutory licences that allow educational institutions to use and pay licence fees for works and broadcasts, and introduce new standard copyright terms for published and unpublished works and for Crown copyright in original works.
To enhance access to copyright material for persons with a disability, this bill replaces the current exception and statutory licence schemes for disability access in the Copyright Act with two new simplified and more flexible exceptions. The 'fair dealing' exception allows persons with a disability or those assisting them to make accessible copies of material, similar to the previous exception for persons with a disability but expressed in the more familiar 'fair dealing' language. The new exception for organisations will permit educational institutions and not-for-profit organisations to make accessible-format copies for people with a disability where the material cannot be obtained in that format within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.
The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 provides a 10-year national policy framework, representing a shared national approach to improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and their carers. We must not forget that there are 4.6 million Australians who identify as living with a disability. The strategy is based on the belief that all Australians should have fair and equal access to the full range of mainstream programs and services available, whether it is employment, healthcare, education, transport, housing, public facilities and infrastructure or, in this case, copyright material. The strategy's second implementation plan, Driving Action 2015-18, was released in December 2016 and outlines the government's continued commitment to driving improvements across the strategy's six policy areas.
The six policy areas are, firstly, inclusive and accessible communities—this refers to the physical environment, including public transport, parks, buildings and housing; digital information and communications technologies; and civic life, including social, sporting, recreational and cultural life.
Secondly, rights protection, justice and legislation—this refers to statutory protections such as antidiscrimination measures, complaints, mechanisms, advocacy, and the electoral and justice systems. Thirdly, economic security— jobs, business opportunities, financial independence, adequate income support for those not able to work, and housing. Fourthly, personal and community support—inclusion and participation in the community, people centred care and support provided by specialist disability services and mainstream services, informal care and support. Fifthly, learning and skills—early childhood education and care, schools, further education, vocational education, transition from education to employment, lifelong learning. Sixthly, health and wellbeing—health services, health promotion and the interaction between health and disability systems, wellbeing and enjoyment of life.
In September 2016 the Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council agreed to reinvigorate all governments' efforts to drive progress under the strategy. Examples of the achievements that have been made across the strategy's key policy outcome areas include improvements to the Disability (Access to Premises—Buildings) Standards. The premises standards came into effect in May 2011 and coincided with changes to the Building Code of Australia, resulting in an improvement to the accessibility of public buildings. The standards were reviewed in 2016, with a government response expected in the near future. There have also been improvements to the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002. The transport standards have resulted in considerable improvements in Australia's public transport network. Work is currently underway to modernise the standards and develop a whole-of-journey guide. Further, there have been improvements to television captioning. The Australian government introduced the Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard 2013 for all television broadcasters.
We are considering a range of improvements to the Disability Standards for Education 2005. The More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative invested $300 million from 2012 to 2014 and included professional development for school staff, more effective use of allied health professions in schools, and resources to support differentiation of curriculum. We are implementing a nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability. The National Arts and Disability Strategy encourages improved participation and access to the arts for people with disability in terms of physical access, access to funding and opportunities for people with disability to present their work. All jurisdictions have moved to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 under the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy. The Australian government has also developed national inclusive playground design guidelines for accessible playgrounds, and last Friday I was pleased to visit the electorate of Gilmore, where a great organisation, the Bay Push, has built a fabulous accessible playground. Mainstream Australian government agencies have adopted protocols for engaging with people with disability, and their representative organisations, in the development of policies and programs. This government is reforming disability employment to improve participant choice and control over the services they receive, create more competition between providers, and encourage more employers to hire people with disability and assist them in the workplace.
I should also mention JobAccess. JobAccess is the national hub for workplace and employment information. The JobAccess site has undergone a major redevelopment and was re-launched on 1 July 2016. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the JobAccess program. In February this year it won an international award for innovative policy at the Zero Project Conference at the United Nations, in Vienna. Of course, there is the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The national rollout also represents a significant achievement under the strategy. The coalition government is fully committed to fully funding the NDIS.
While I could continue to list the achievements that have been made under the National Disability Strategy, I acknowledged there is still more to be done. This bill will help to make that happen. This bill will contribute to ensuring that people with disability live in accessible and well-designed communities with the opportunity for full inclusion in social, economic, sporting and cultural aspects. I look forward to seeing the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act added to this list of achievements.
Other measures contained in this bill just make sense, for all people. This bill replaces the current outdated preservation copying provisions in the Copyright Act with simpler, uniform and technology-neutral provisions that give libraries, archives and key cultural institutions greater flexibility in copying and the digitisation of copyright material to preserve or administer their collections. Libraries and archives will no longer have to wait for published material to be damaged or to deteriorate, or be lost or stolen, before making a preservation copy, ensuring that valuable historic and cultural materials will be available for future generations. Digital preservation and research copies will be able to be made available to people at libraries, archives and key cultural institutions, provided reasonable steps are taken by the institution to ensure that copyright the material is not infringed. I know these provisions are welcomed by the many Brisbane City Council libraries in my electorate including Mitchelton, Toowong, Indooroopilly and Kenmore.
It would be remiss of me, as the federal member for Ryan, with one of the best universities in the world—and I am talking about the University of Queensland, at St Lucia—not to note the support from Universities Australia for this bill. Universities Australia urges the parliament to pass the bill to streamline copyright for educational institutions without affecting the interests of copyright holders. The bill will update and simplify the licences that allow universities to use copyright material in return for payments to rights holders. The bill consolidates and simplifies the existing statutory licences in parts 5A and 5B of the Copyright Act that allow educational institutions to copy and communicate works and broadcasts, in a new educational statutory licence. By removing the prescriptive and administratively burdensome record-keeping requirements of the existing licences, educational institutions and copyright collecting societies will have the flexibility to agree on their own licensing arrangements for the use of copyright material. These amendments have been developed following a collaborative initiative of, and in close consultation with, all relevant stakeholders.
This measure makes long overdue changes to the duration of copyright protection in unpublished copyright materials. Currently, if copyright materials are unpublished they remain in copyright in perpetuity, so their productive uses may be lost. This bill simplifies and harmonises copyright terms by creating new standard terms of protection for original published and unpublished works, sound recordings and films. These terms are consistent with the requirements under international conventions and agreements to which Australia is a party. The new copyright terms will commence on 1 January 2019 and will apply to copyright materials created before 1 January 2019 that remain unpublished or otherwise not made public at that date. Libraries and archives hold large numbers of unpublished materials which are an important part of Australia's cultural heritage. Setting a term of protection for unpublished materials will allow greater use of the considerable cultural value of these materials. I commend this bill to the House.