Australia should introduce a transformative use exception. Transformative use is an important part of the copyright balance: it provides a mechanism through which to balance the rights of past authors against the interests of future authors. In the interests of promoting creativity and innovation, the impact of copyright law on the ability of Australians to create new works should be minimised. The scope of a transformative use exception should be based primarily on demonstrable harm to the direct licensing interests of copyright owners – the core of copyright. Importantly, however, there are unresolved questions about fairness that need to be more clearly addressed before the appropriate scope of a transformative use exception can be determined.
This submission does not directly address the desirability of introducing a broader fair use right. It is likely that an open ended fair use exception is required to provide a more adequate balance between copyright owners and non-transformative users of copyright. If a broad fair use style exception is introduced, it would likely be desirable to include transformative uses within that exception. This submission, however, takes the more limited position that regardless of whether a fair use exception is introduced, an exception that permits unlicensed transformative uses is required in Australian copyright law.