Australia's current copyright law stifles innovation

Google's bid to republish books online for the sake of archiving knowledge would be impossible in Australia under our current copyright laws. The case highlights a need for the laws to be reviewed.

Australia wants to foster innovation in a digital economy, but our copyright laws discourage businesses from investing in new technologies and make it harder for individuals to access the knowledge upon which innovation is based. Yesterday’s US decision in the Google Books case shows why US copyright law is much more supportive of innovation than ours.

The long, drawn out litigation between the Authors Guild and Google has reached a conclusion: Google’s ambitious mass-digitisation project, to scan the world’s books and make them discoverable online, is “fair use”.

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