Exciting changes and an update on copyright reform

27 Aug 2021

A short update on some exciting changes for ALACC and the latest news on copyright reform

It has been a busy few months as we have undertaken structural changes to the organisation on top of our continued advocacy for copyright reforms. Here’s a short update on what’s been happening. 


Today we are announcing that the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee (ALCC) has officially become the Australian Libraries and Archives Copyright Coalition (ALACC). You may have already seen our new logo on the website. This change reflects the important role played by archivists in the copyright landscape and within our association. It also reflects the importance that our members place on working together as a coalition to achieve meaningful copyright reform for libraries and archives. 

Under our new banner, the ALACC will continue to advocate for more flexible copyright laws that better support access to information and knowledge. All of our resources and training materials will remain available on our new website: alacc.org.au. And if you have linked to our resources don’t worry – all URLs using our former domain will automatically redirect to their location on the new site.

Announcement of new Chair 

We are also very excited to let you know that Justine Heazlewood has been elected as Chair of ALACC, taking over from Margaret Allen, who has stepped away having led the ALCC for the last seven years. We are incredibly grateful for Margaret’s leadership and her dedication to copyright reforms benefiting the library and archives sector. In her time as Chair, Margaret helped grow the ALCC into one of the most authoritative and well-respected voices in library and archive copyright policy discussions. 

Justine was a long-standing member of the ALCC and is the Convener of the Australian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative, a body set up by the Council of Australasian Archives and Record Authorities (CAARA) to collaborate and establish standards for digital recordkeeping. She has been Victoria’s Keeper of Public Records since 2003. We are incredibly excited to welcome Justine as our new Chair. 

Our focus

Our immediate focus remains the introduction of the Copyright Access Reforms announced in August last year. User groups like ALACC and the Australian Digital Alliance (ADA) are very supportive of the changes outlined by the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP. Since the announcement of these reforms we have worked closely with the Department and rights owners to ensure that the reforms meet the stated objective of better supporting the needs of Australians and public institutions to access material in an increasingly digital environment. 

While ALACC continues to believe that fair use is the best way to future-proof Australia’s copyright law, the Copyright Access Reforms will have an enormously positive impact on the Australian library and archive sectors – and the public – by allowing our member institutions to provide users with more equitable access to resources in our collections.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the gaps that currently hinder libraries and archives in the delivery of services. Today, libraries and archives around the country are moving in and out of periods of lockdown. These closures are a strong reminder that the copyright reforms proposed by the Government continue to be urgently required by the libraries and information sector, which have been built upon the assumption of physical access to collections. 

The ALACC has recently written to Minister Fletcher urging him to release an exposure draft of the Copyright Access Reforms so that this important legislation can be enacted before the end of the year. Libraries, archives and the entire GLAM sector require these reforms, including the limited liability scheme for orphan works and the fair dealing exception for noncommercial quotation. Each of these reforms will help to provide certainty when allowing users online access to library and archive collections. 

We will continue to engage with the Government on these important reforms, and we are calling on Minister Fletcher to release an exposure draft as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions about the copyright access reforms or the announcement of our rebranding, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by contacting info@alacc.org.au



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