Australian content industry units to reject Productivity Commission report

We are members of Australia’s content, creative and entertainment sectors, producing Australian work and telling Australian stories across media, screen, music, literature and the arts. 

Our sector makes a significant contribution to Australian culture, jobs and the economy employing hundreds of thousands of Australians to produce some of Australia’s best loved stories.  

We are united against the key recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s final report into intellectual property and copyright which are based on faulty premises and misunderstandings.

We support sensible reforms to the Copyright Act that benefit both Australian audiences and Australian creators. However, the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, including the introduction of a US-style ‘Fair Use’ exception and expansion of the Safe Harbour provision to Big Tech companies will make it easier for these large organisations to use Australian content without fair payment and will mean less production of Australian stories.

Australian creators have a right to receive fair payment for their work and Australian audiences have a right to take part in their own cultural life. The changes to Australian copyright laws being pushed by the Productivity Commission, large organisations and big technology companies will greatly diminish these rights.

The Productivity Commission’s report takes an unusually hostile approach towards Australian content rooted in a naivety about just how fragile the system is and what is necessary to encourage and support Aussie creativity. 

Intellectual property is an economic driver and facilitator of innovation. It enables the development and commercialisation of clever ideas and a return on investment in production, marketing and distribution.

This is why the report has united the Australian creative community like no other report in recent times.  If the Productivity Commission’s recommendations were implemented it would cause a serious reduction in the amount of Australian content produced.  A report by PwC says the implementation of some of their recommendations would smash GDP to the tune over 1 billion dollars.

The next generation of Australians should be able to grow up inspired by musicians like Jessica Mauboy and Jimmy Barnes, watching movies like Mad Max and Lion and TV shows like Home and Away and Offspring, reading books like Possum Magic and Cloudstreet and seeing art from people like Brett Whiteley and Tracey Moffatt.

We call on the Australian Government and parliament to rule out these proposed changes from the Productivity Commission. 

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