On 27 October, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committee released its report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Amendment Bill and recommended it be passed with changes including:
- Significantly increasing the penalties for making or dealing with illicit recordings under the Copyright Act 1994. Currently the maximum term of imprisonment is three months. This will increase to five years if the amendment is passed. Fines also increase from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per offence where it relates to making or dealing with a copy, up to a maximum of $150,000 in respect of the same transaction. The fines for publically playing or communicating an illicit recording will also treble from $50,000 to $150,000. This brings the penalties into line with those relating to making or dealing with infringing objects under the Act.
- Creating regulation-making powers to enable changes or additions to the Technological Protection Measures exceptions under the Copyright Act 1994. The purpose is to ‘future proof the regime’.
- Capping patent term extensions for Patent Office delay at a maximum of two years, consistent with the two year cap on extensions for regulatory delay.
Public consultation on the TPPA Amendment Bill closed in July, and the Select Committee’s report will be presented to Parliament before being set down for its second reading.