Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has lodged a submission to the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department (AGD), arguing that Australian consumers be given the right to make digital copies of their films, photographs, and computer and video games for their private use.

The submission is in response to the AGD's review of sections 47J and 110AA of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), which currently only permit certain forms of analog to digital and digital to analog copying. For example, the current law allows Australians to digitise a purchased photo once, or to print a purchased digital photo once, or to make a DVD copy of a VHS tape.

“Australian consumers deserve to be treated fairly, but current copyright law treats us all like pirates,” said EFA Vice-Chair Nicolas Suzor. “It is time that the Government recognises that Australians should have the right to enjoy the movies and photographs that they have purchased on any device they like – whether that is on an electronic photo frame, on their computers, on their digital set top boxes, or on portable players in the car on the way to the beach.”

“Currently, the Government expects each Australian to buy a separate copy of each film or photograph for each device on which they want to view it. This is simply unacceptable,” said Suzor.

EFA also renewed its calls for a private backup right. “Under the current law, if your wedding album is destroyed in a fire, you are not allowed to reprint those pictures from a digital backup. If your daughter's treasured DVD movie or video game is scratched beyond repair, you are expected to go out and buy a new copy, rather than take simple backup measures,” Suzor noted.

EFA argued that private copying rights would not turn everyday households into large scale pirates. “We simply ask that Australians be treated fairly. Allowing a family to make digital copies of media they've already paid for is not going to send anyone broke. Australian consumers aren't pirates, and should not be treated like pirates,” concluded Suzor.

- Ends -

Below is:

- Background information

- Contact details for media

Background:

AGD review “Copying photos and films for private use”:

http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Copyright_IssuesandReviews_Copyingphotosandfilmsforprivateuse

EFA submission to Review of sections 47J and 110AA of the Copyright Act 1968:

https://www.efa.org.au/main/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/efa_submission_review_copyright_act_2008.pdf

About EFA:
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (”EFA”) is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contacts:

Mr Dale Clapperton  
EFA Chair  
Phone: 0416 007 100  
Email: dclapperton at efa.org.au  

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc -- http://www.efa.org.au/

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