What’s the state of the ongoing ‘copyright wars’ in Australia?

It’s an ongoing struggle in Australia to devise copyright laws that are fair for everyone. The public and private sectors alike are still working to find that balance.

Copyright laws have a fairly major impact on companies' ability to make a profit. If there are robust laws in place protecting your organisation's intellectual property, it's far easier to sell your product and bring in a steady stream of revenue, without consumers circumventing the act of paying you.

Are the copyright laws currently on the books sufficient? In Australia, that's a difficult question to answer.

Are the laws currently on the books sufficient? In Australia, that's a difficult question to answer because those laws are always in flux. There's a constant back and forth between the consumers and the corporate world to find the right equilibrium. Even as recently as late 2016, there's been a great deal of controversy about exactly how strict to make the laws moving forward.

How will this struggle affect your business?

Discord over the current IP laws

It's hard to find the right balance when it comes to copyright law in Australia. According to Gizmodo, this is something of an age-old struggle – companies argue that if copyrights are too weak, it's difficult for them to profit from their work, yet consumers don't want copyrights to be too strong, either. This would restrict innovation.

We saw a bit of controversy in 2016 surrounding the current copyright laws. The Australian Productivity Commission released a report recommending the government revisit "fair use" rules, meaning we may soon see stricter laws about copyrighting again. This could have a far-reaching impact.

How can you resolve disputes?

If copyright laws in Australia are going to be cheaper, this raises an interesting question – how will your company handle disputes regarding the new laws, if any should arise?

Resolving disputes over intellectual property can be difficult.Resolving disputes over intellectual property can be difficult.

According to IP Australia, going to court and suing violators is one possible course of action, but it should be avoided where possible. Lawsuits are messy, complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Luckily, there are other possibilities. Rather than seeing a courtroom, you might devote your time to writing sternly worded letters or holding mediation sessions to resolve disputes. Your options are open.

Get the legal help you need

If and when you decide to get serious about pursuing a copyright law issue, you don't want anything less than the best possible legal representation. That's why you should go with Alder IP – we have a team of copyright lawyers in Sydney who can offer a full range of intellectual property law services.

Whether you're looking to prosecute offenders aggressively, settle cases quietly or just get a better handle on your copyright situation, you can talk to us, and we'll be available to help. Get in touch any time.