Schools, Universities and Libraries Join Startups in Call for Safe Harbour Copyright Reform

A coalition of schools, universities, libraries and startups have today launched a campaign calling on the government to extend Australia’s copyright safe harbours.

The campaign highlights the broad cross-sector support for a simple system for dealing with online copyright infringement for Australia. The Australian Digital Alliance joins its members in supporting the campaign.

“Copyright laws are a key lever to promote innovation, and a safe harbour extension would foster the digital economy and economic growth,” said Jessica Coates, Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Alliance.

“It is an easy step that provides benefits for all. It encourages service providers and copyright owners to work together to fight piracy, while at the same time giving legal certainty and minimising enforcement costs for Australian creators and consumers.”

Safe harbour laws set out a simple system for dealing with infringing content uploaded by users to online platforms. Organisations providing online services to others receive protection from liability when their clients breach copyright, as long as they take steps to protect copyright owners, such as taking down infringing material.

“Currently, Australia’s safe harbour laws lag behind international norms because they only protect commercial ISPs,” said Ms Coates, “This means that Australian schools, universities, libraries and archives have less legal protection than commercial ISPs providing the same services. Australian companies providing user generated platforms and marketplaces can be held liable even when acting in good faith, putting them at far greater risk of liability than their international peers.”

“When these long-awaited reforms go through, service providers who set up shop in Australia will finally be on equal footing in global industries, rather than being forced offshore” said Ms Coates. “As the campaign website makes clear, the future of Australian innovation depends on modern copyright laws that reflect the digital age.”

More details can be found on the campaign website at

Media Contact
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