APRA AMCOS details “concerns” over proposed Morrison Government copyright reforms

The music rights organisation is calling for “meaningful reform”

APRA AMCOS has released a statement expressing their concerns over proposed copyright reforms announced by the Morrison Government.

In a media release shared this week (August 13), the Morrison Government announced its plans to move forward with changes to copyright framework.

The prospective reforms will “allow the use of material if the copyright owner cannot be found, introduce a fair dealing exception for non-commercial quotation, simplify and update copyright exceptions for educational and cultural institutions, and streamline the government statutory licensing scheme”.

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Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said the aim of the changes is to “better support the needs of Australians to access content in an increasingly digital environment.”

Dean Ormston, CEO of APRA AMCOS, has since detailed concerns the music rights organisation holds over what these proposed changes will mean for creators.

“It always seems like music creators and performing artists are the ones continually asked to make concessions to those that use their content, even during the worst crisis to ever hit the music industry,” said Ormston.

“While we will reserve judgment until we have seen the detail of the proposed reforms, we are concerned that they fail to recognise the significant impact COVID-19 has had on local songwriters, composers, music publishers and artists.

“…The recent announcement by the government fails to recognise these concessions and pursues an argument that users of creators’ content have been denied access to that content over the last six months. We challenge that proposition.

“We agree there are important steps to modernise copyright in Australia, but it really is past time for music creators to be better supported by any proposed reforms.”

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The Morrison Government is planning to release draft legislation of the proposed copyright reforms for public consultation later this year.

Earlier this year, Ormston also commented on the issues surrounding JobKeeper in relation to live music venues, expressing the need for greater support for music professionals affected by COVID-19.

Read APRA AMCOS’ full statement on the proposed copyright reforms here.

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