Copyright is not usually cited as the main reason for the slow development of digital broadcasting services in Australia. Flawed government policy is generally taken to be the main reason. However, copyright is represented as part of the package that helps media empires and the entrepreneurs behind the next killer apps turn the internet into a clunky, permission-driven, grey-box experience—frustrating the delivery of all the new, nifty, portable and empowering consumer electronics which could give us flexible, on-demand access to programs and films.
This chapter takes concerns about the negative influence of copyright on innovation and access to new media services seriously. However, my interest is not in proselytising the evils of Big Media, or analysing the evidence of global media’s capture of the policy agenda. Further, the discussion of copyright and digital broadcasting is all too present-minded and too focused on current external influences on the law, and especially US influences and comparisons. This chapter addresses the contemporary Australian situation by reconsidering the past of broadcast copyright—its introduction into the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and jurisprudential development in case law. This jurisprudence is important because, though perhaps too obvious to mention, it is still primarily the development of exclusive rights to copyright subject matter that establishes the means by which media owners effect control over access to their programs in Australia today.
Date of this Version
Kathy Bowrey, "What Are You Missing Out On? Big Media, Broadcasting, Copyright and Access to Innovation" (August 2007). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series. Working Paper 56.