On 5 June 2018, the Department of Communications and the Arts (Department) announced that it is seeking public submissions on the exposure draft of the Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Regulations 2018 (Draft Regulations).  

This comes at a time when the Copyright Amendment Bill (Bill) has just passed and is expected to become law in the coming weeks. The Bill proposes to extend safe harbour provisions, currently only applicable to carriage service providers (CSPs), to cover the education, cultural and disability sectors. These changes aim to ensure that these sectors are insulated from legal liability for copyright infringements by their users if they take reasonable steps to deal with infringements on their online platforms. The Draft Regulations provide that the procedures and forms prescribed for safe harbour protection for CSPs can also be used by these sectors.  

The Department is currently seeking public feedback on whether the Draft Regulations will assist these industries to take advantage of the safe harbour protections and whether any additional amendments are necessary to assist them to do so. The Department also seeks feedback on whether the Draft Regulations will have any unintended effects.  

A copy of the Issues Paper and Draft Regulations can be found here. Written submissions were due to the Department by 29 June 2018.