Public Policy Issues

last Dawn Purnululu

Lawyers providing legal advice in the fields of entertainment, media and new technology operate in a fast paced and rapidly changing environment.

Clients rightly expect their practitioners to possess not only a thorough understanding of the law but also a keen appreciation of the cultural, technological and artistic landscape.

This capacity we think, is what sets us apart.

In giving our clients the best available advice in the areas for which we are renowned, we engage actively with the issues of the day, as well as the policy makers who effect our clients’ commercial interests.

We have a track record of sound policy engagement in the following legal areas:

  • Copyright law reform including Moral Rights and Performer’s Rights, Directors’ rights, Artists resale royalty and moral rights and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property rights
  • Defamation
  • Censorship
  • Telecommunications policy
  • Take down notices and internet advocacy for content providers

Specific examples of our active involvement in public policy debates include:

  • The introduction of Moral Rights legislation in Australia
  • National Film Exemption scheme for financing of films
  • Re examination of Australian Corporations Law concerning entertainment financing
  • Committee membership Watch on Censorship
  • Submissions to the Productivity Commission on Radio-communications
  • Revised copyright protection for computer software, and numerous other references to the Federal Attorney General
  • Various Test case litigation in culture and the arts
  • Local and international litigation in the Intellectual Property and Media and Entertainment areas, representing clients in Australia and overseas.
  • Chairing the Visual Artists Working Party to determine fair value for content creators for the reproduction and licensing of their work on electronic media
  • Advising ACCC on compulsory licensing for music and copyright reproduction, APRA AMCOS
  • Advising Australian Directors Guild on Directors rights and royalty entitlements from broadcasting and communication to the public
  • Advising and participating on the Australian Research Council (ARC) review on “Inhibitions and Problems Facing Sustainability and Growth of the Independent Film and Television Production Sector”
  • Forming a Trade Union to protect and advance the interests of directors

All our lawyers take pride in maintaining a cutting edge knowledge in the practice’s areas of specialisation by making it our business to be not just well informed but actively involved in reforms and developments. This strength is reflected in the firm’s active involvement in the development of the following:

  • ALRC Issues Paper on Designs 1994
  • Performers rights, Moral rights Protection for Copyright Creators

Computer Software, Parallel Importation and Conversion Damages

In this regard Michael Frankel sat for many years on the Copyright Law Reform Committee and carried the then minority Committee Report on Moral Rights which was eventually maintained in the 2000 amendments to the Copyright Act.

We have a proven record of high level practical and academic intellectual achievement. The firms’ lawyers have been personally involved with the authoring of numerous arts industry related reports as well as having developed numerous guidelines, codes, strategies and policy proposals.

Members of our firm both wrote and presented the Electronic Frontiers Australia submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry on Radiocommunications in 2002. Representatives of our firm also drafted the submission and appeared on behalf of Watch On Censorship before NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Bill which was successfully revoked as a result of the findings of the Inquiry.

Greg Duffy is actively involved in lobbying Government for reform to the current Tax and Corporate Investment policy, structure and regulation in regard to the Film Industry. In 2004 he advised and liaised with peak industry bodies on lobbying the Government on crucial amendments to the US Australia Free Trade Agreement.