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The US-Australia Free Trade Agreement and
Intellectual Property - A Symposium

hosted by

Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, UNSW Law Faculty
Wednesday 28 April 2004, 6:00 - 7:45 pm


The Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, UNSW Law Faculty, hosted this by-invitation symposium to discuss issues surrounding the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement and intellectual property, and encourage debate on responses and options.

The FTA raises complex issues for intellectual property, particularly digital IP which is the focus of this event. As government, advocates for copyright owners and users, and industry advisers grapple with these issues, it is useful to consider public interest aspects including justifications for proposed changes to Australian law, possible flow-on effects, and impacts on economic and other aspects of Australian life.

  • What changes to local or US law or regulations would be required?

  • Who will the changes affect, and how will the benefits and costs be distributed?

Key issues include:

    - ISP liability and the conditions for 'safe harbour' immunity
    - Access to ISP subscriber info. by copyright owners alleging breach
    - Anti-circumvention provisions and the import of 'DMCA' rules
    - Impacts on the burgeoning 'open source' software industry
    - 20 year extension of term of copyright to "Life plus 70 years"
    - Better 'fair use'/'fair dealing' rights for ordinary users?
    - Impacts on consumers' quiet enjoyment of legally acquired content
    - Impacts on the accessibility of information
    - Impacts of process patents on innovation
    - Recent reviews: Digital Agenda, business process patents?
    - Relative benefits to American and Australian economies

The Symposium

There were several presentations from expert perspectives to stimulate debate, and time for an open-ended discussion. The symposium format is a unique opportunity to participants to share insights into this key development for Australian intellectual property law, and offered a forum for free-ranging discussion.


Baker & McKenzie Board Room, 26th floor
AMP Building,
50 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000


Wednesday 28 April 2004
5:45 for 6:00 pm, until about 7:45 pm



Prof. Graham Greenleaf, UNSW Law Faculty

Speakers and panelists

  • Patrick Fair, Baker & McKenzie - presentation
  • Peter Coroneos, Internet Industry Association
  • Charles Britton, Australian Consumers Association
  • Anne Flahvin, copyright adviser, Baker & McKenzie - presentation
  • Dr Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy; Visiting Professor - presentation
  • Sarah Deutsch, assoc. general counsel, Verizon

Other participants

  • Communications Law Centre, Arts Law Centre
  • Officers from federal and state government agencies
  • ALIA
  • Australian Digital Alliance
  • Collecting agencies
  • IP academics from UNSW, UTS, Wollongong, Macquarie

MP3 sound files from the event:

Draft transcript of the presentations.


David Vaile
Executive Director
Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre

T: (02) 9385 3589
F: (02) 9385 1778
E: d.vaile [at] unsw.edu.au

Documents and Materials

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URL: http://www.cyberlawcentre.org/fta/symposium.htm - Updated 24 June 2004