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Vom digitalen Tod der guten alten Bibliotheken ...

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Date sent: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 13:35:07 +1100 From: "Charles Maddison" <> To: Subject: News release on copyright in Australia Sender: owner-ecup-list Precedence: bulk Reply-To:


12 November 1999

Attorney-General raises fears about digital copyright

In opening the Copyright Symposium in Sydney yesterday the Federal Attorney-General, Mr Daryl Williams, raised fears that libraries might be forced to pay “prohibitive licence fees” when they transmit copyright works online.

The Chief Executive of Copyright Agency Limited, Mr Michael Fraser, said: “Authors and publishers have only ever sought equitable remuneration – fair payment – when their works are transmitted.

“Authors and publishers agree that public libraries’ traditional role should be maintained. The public should always be able to borrow books and read in the library for free,” he said.

“They have not argued for ‘prohibitive’ fees, but for fair compensation for systematic use.

“When libraries republish works on line in competition with author and publishers, authors and publishers should receive fair reward for the use of their work, especially when libraries earn revenue for these online services.

“The Digital Agenda Bill is now before the House of Representatives’ Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and we urge the Government to allow the Committee to complete its work before deciding the issues.

“Authors and publishers are keen to ensure that readers have systematic access to books and journals online, providing they are fairly paid for the use of their work,” he said.

“Australia cannot develop an electronic publishing industry by free-riding on the backs of creative authors and publishers.

“Respecting copyright encourages creativity and trade in intellectual property for the benefit of the whole community,” Mr Fraser said.

Media contacts:

Michael Fraser
Chief Executive Officer
Copyright Agency Limited
0412 – 146 127
02 – 9394 7600

Charles Maddison
Media Affairs Officer
Copyright Agency Limited
02 – 9394 7684
0417 – 652 613

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