Wikipedia joins fair use fight
Wikipedia has changed its Australian front page to raise awareness of copyright reform.
The Productivity Commission is looking at a proposal for Australia to introduce a fair use exception in its copyright laws.
“Australians benefit from fair use every day” says Jon Lawrence from digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA).
“When you look up the ABC on Wikipedia and see its logo, that logo is there because a Wikipedia editor has uploaded it as a fair use of the image. Wikipedia users can only upload this content because they are able to rely on the US's fair use provisions. If Wikipedia was based in Australia you wouldn't see that logo.”
Wikipedia’s banner links to faircopyright.org.au, a site set up by EFA and copyright advocacy group the Australian Digital Alliance (ADA) to highlight the problems with Australia's current law, and explain how fair use can help.
“Australia's copyright law is absurdly outdated” Mr Lawrence says.
“Forwarding an email. Reposting a meme you found online. Uploading a picture of your toddler mangling the words of a song to Facebook. Our law hasn't caught up with any of these common usages, and as a result Australians inadvertently infringe copyright dozens of times a day.”