Copyright Support Structures

Copyright Support Structures

Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5214-9.ch005
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This chapter deals with government and other support structures available to authors internationally and nationally in relation to the enforcement of their copyright and funding. It provides an overview of how the Australian government support structures interact with equivalent global structures and how these mechanisms are utilised to supplement authors’ incomes. These structures rely on the premise that copyright law creates incentives for people to invest their time, talent, and other resources in the creation of new material that benefits society and include government support structures such as grants as well as licensing schemes such as the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), Public Lending Rights (PLR), and Educational Lending Rights (ELR).
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International Structures

As discussed in Chapter 2, Australia is party to a number of international treaties that protect copyright material. The two most prominent of these are the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). The enforcement of rights under the Berne Convention and UCC is regulated by the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Agreement), which is managed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The most relevant international organisations charged with upholding the provisions of these treaties in respect of Australian authors are the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFFRO) (Copyright Agency Limited, 2011). An outline of the functions of these organisations is provided below.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations based in Geneva and charged with administering various international intellectual property instruments, which include the Berne Convention. It further establishes international norms and standards in respect of intellectual property, promotes the formation of new international treaties and the development of countries’ intellectual property legislation (Copyright Agency Limited, 2011).

The WIPO agreements set minimum standards rather than prescribing optimal forms of copyright protection and membership is voluntary. Significantly, there are no formal mechanisms for the enforcement of WIPO agreements. Australia has been a member of WIPO since 1972 and is a signatory to a number of its treaties and conventions affecting copyright (Ergas, 2000). Whereas WIPO is primarily responsible for administering the Berne Convention, IFFRO plays a significant role in the promotion of reciprocal copyright licensing agreements between collecting agencies worldwide.

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