Copyright in the Time of COVID-19: An Australian Perspective

Authors

  • Amanda Bellenger Curtin University
  • Helen Balfour Murdoch University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v5i1.16249

Abstract

COVID-19 has raised many challenges in terms of applying Australian copyright legislation and related policies to higher education context. This paper describes the experience of Copyright Officers at Curtin University and Murdoch University from the initial stages of border-control measures affecting delivery of learning materials to students in China, to the wider disruption of the pandemic with many countries implementing lockdown measures, to the current environment where remote delivery is the “new normal.” The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth of Australia) provides narrow fair dealing exceptions (sections 40 and 41) and broader but more uncertain flexible dealing exceptions (section 200AB), creating a barrier for educators providing access to the information resources needed for teaching, learning, and research. The uncertainty of applying section 200AB was exacerbated by the conditions caused by the pandemic. The authors describe their experiences in providing copyright support during the pandemic as well as how the copyright services adapted to meet requirements.

References

Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. (2020). Copyright and remote supply webinar: Video and slides. Recording of webinar held May 21, 2020. https://libcopyright.org.au/copyright-and-remote-supply-webinar-video/

Bledsoe, E. (2020, August 13). Government proposes much needed copyright changes for online access. Australian Digital Alliance. https://digital.org.au/2020/08/13/access-reforms-announcement-media-release/

Coates, Jessica. (2019). “Copyright can dos: Navigating the complex world of copyright to empower learning.” Access, 33(4), 34–37.

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Austrl.).

Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. (2020, August 13). Copyright access reforms. https://www.communications.gov.au/departmental-news/copyright-access-reforms

Council of Australian University Librarians. (2020, October 7). Statistics services: Data files for 2010–2019. https://www.caul.edu.au/programs-projects/statistics-services

Flahvin, A., & C. Dalton. (2012). Flexible exceptions for the education, library and cultural sectors: Why has s 200AB failed to deliver and would these sectors fare better under fair use? Policy Australia, Report prepared for the Australian Digital Alliance/Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. https://libcopyright.org.au/wp-content/uploads/mp/files/posts/files/appendix-1-ada-s200ab-report-15-nov-2012.pdf

National Copyright Unit. (n.d.). Smartcopying: COVID-19 copyright issues. https://smartcopying.edu.au/covid-19-copyright-issues/

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Published

2021-11-30