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[SLUG] FWD: Copyright vs Contracts: the Copyright Law Review Committee

This issue may interest some of you.


----- Forwarded message from Nick Smith <NSMITH@nospam.nla.gov.au> -----

Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 12:09:04 +1000
From: Nick Smith <NSMITH@nospam.nla.gov.au>
To: "'link@nospam.www.anu.edu.au'" <link@nospam.www.anu.edu.au>
Subject: [LINK] Copyright vs Contracts: the Copyright Law Review Committee
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)

Dear Linkers

As copyright material is increasingly made available in digital media, the
issue of the relationship between the copyright law and contract law has
become more and more important.

Digital material is frequently subject to licence agreements that override
the public's right to use material in ways that are guaranteed by exceptions
in the Copyright Act. It has been suggested that contract law will one day
come to wholly replace copyright law, with the rules governing the use of
information set unilaterally by the vendor rather than by Parliament. 

This could mean that many of the rights that the public hold dear such as
the right to borrow or lend material, to make fair dealing copies, to sell
copies or even to read, may ultimately be lost. And this process will only
be exacerbated by the use of technological protection systems such as
encyrption as a further level of protection.

The COPYRIGHT LAW REVIEW COMMITTEE, an independent Government advisory body
which is asked by the Government to look at specific copyright matters, is
currently examining the question of copyright vs contract.

The terms of reference and an issues paper can be found here:

Submissions from the public are now invited and must be lodged with the CLRC
no later than 10 August 2001. 

I encourage you to make a submission on this important issue which will may
well have an impact on how we gain access to and use information in this
country for some time to come.

[And BTW, on a related note, see also the interesting articles in the
Australian Financial review on 16 and 18 June, pages 28 and 53,


Nick Smith
Executive Officer  ::  Australian Digital Alliance  
Copyright Advisor  ::  Australian Libraries Copyright Committee
PO Box E202   \\   Kingston ACT 2604
Ph: 02 6262 1273   \\   Fax: 02 6273 2545
Email: nsmith@nospam.nla.gov.au   \\   Web: www.digital.org.au

----- End forwarded message -----

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