The ACCC (Australia’s consumer and competition watchdog) has released a draft guide to copyright licensing and collecting societies. It is seeking comments by 31 January 2007 (at least, a timeline for comments in copyright that’s not utterly unreasonable!!!).

From the press release:

The ACCC seeks comment on all aspects of the guide. It is particularly interested in how the guide’s usefulness to copyright users can be improved.

Release of the draft guide for public consultation follows the introduction to Parliament of the Copyright Amendment Bill 2006. This Bill proposes two amendments that are relevant to the ACCC and its functions:

  1. The Copyright Tribunal may have regard to guidelines (if any) made by the ACCC.
  2. The Copyright Tribunal will be able to make the ACCC a party to a matter before the tribunal (if the ACCC applies and the tribunal is satisfied that it would be appropriate to do so).

Once these proposed amendments come into effect, the ACCC intends to issue a general information guide to users of copyright material to help explain their rights and obligations under the Copyright Act 1968.

After considering the views of interested parties, and commencement of amendments made by the Copyright Amendment Bill, the ACCC will finalise its views and release a final guide. A less detailed summary of the guide is also expected to be produced.

For the guide, go here. (hat tip: Starkoff)