Australia - Copyright amendments proposed In 2015, the Productivity Commission (Commission) commenced an inquiry into Australia's copyright and intellectual property arrangements. Although the Commission's report has not yet been released, the Federal Government is proposing amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act) that it believes will align with any recommendations the Commission may make. The Exposure Draft of the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (Bill) contains a range of amendments that are mostly designed to simplify the Act and better facilitate the access and use of copyright material by the disability sector, libraries, archives and educational and cultural institutions. For example, the existing statutory licences for institutions that assist persons with an intellectual or print disability would be streamlined into a single exception requiring such institutions to seek to purchase material before a copy can be made in an appropriate format. There would no longer be a requirement that certain institutions be declared to be an institution assisting persons with a print or intellectual disability. The exception would cover educational institutions who principally provide assistance to persons with a disability. There are also proposed amendments aimed at improving the ability of institutions and libraries to engage in preservation copying. For educational institutions, these would simplify existing statutory licences for the use of copyright material and provide that copyright is not infringed where certain conditions are complied with. The amendments will also enable exams to be conducted online by altering the exam copying exception. In addition, the amendments seek to harmonise copyright terms by providing a new general protection period of life plus 70 years irrespective of whether the work is published or unpublished, and a period from the date of making plus 70 years for works by unknown authors. For materials first published by the Crown, the period will be 50 years from the year in which the material is made. Finally, the proposed changes also broaden the Act's 'safe harbour' provisions to cover a broader range of entities, including search engines, cloud storage services, universities and libraries. Interested parties and members of the public are encouraged to comment on the Bill by 12 February 2016. For more information, please contact Adrian Lawrence or Andrew Stewart.