EFA submission on format shifting

We lodged a submission with AGD about the format shifting exceptions for photographs and films.

Press release is available at the EFA site.

In short, we argued for a digital-to-digital private copying exception.

If the purpose of copyright is to provide incentives for creators, then preventing consumers from watching their purchased films and photos on the device of their choice adds little to no incentives but imposes a large cost to consumers. Expecting consumers to purchase a separate copy of each film or photo for each device (electronic photo frame, set-top-box, computer, portable player, etc) will have three effects: some consumers will get ripped off by having to buy the same thing more than once, some consumers will be impoverished because they can't enjoy their media on their device of choice, and some consumers will simply disregard copyright law in the knowledge that it is currently very difficult to police private copying. In one of these cases, the copyright owner earns more fees for no additional investment.

I would like to see a serious argument that copyright owners need the additional licence fees that they are likely to earn from families purchasing more than one copy of any given film or photograph.

Failing any significant evidence that I haven't heard of on that point, I firmly believe that the balance favours allowing private copying.