Technology startups exposed to legal risk due to omission from copyright scheme: StartupAUS



Alex McCauley, CEO of StartupAUS

Noticeboard | Startup

By James Harkness

Australia’s peak startup body, StartupAUS, has expressed disappointment in a senate committee’s recommendation to exclude technology companies from legislation extending the copyright safe harbour scheme to a broader range of service providers.

[Related: Startups to have easier access to global talent under new scheme being piloted by government]

The report on the Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill released by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications on Monday evening recommended proceeding with copyright safe harbour legislation that excludes technology companies. StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley described this outcome as a “disappointing result” for the startup industry in Australia.

“The decision not to extend safe harbour protections to technology companies will leave some our most successful high-growth companies exposed to legal risk, driving high value ideas offshore,” he said.

“Australia is a long way behind its peers when it comes to implementing a modern, internet-friendly copyright regime and this is a significant missed opportunity to catch up.

“The committee noted in its report that this legislation is part of an ‘incremental approach’ to copyright reform. We hope that the Government is serious about continuing to work with stakeholders to pursue safe harbours for online content hosts in the period ahead. We look forward to engaging in those discussions as they arise.”

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