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Budget allocation to boost access to cultural collections and research

Copyright access reforms needed to get the most out of additional funding for cultural institutions and humanities eresearch infrastructure.

Wednesday 7 October 2020
For immediate release

Canberra, Australia—The Australian Libraries Copyright Committee (ALCC) welcomes the allocation of $22.9 million in additional funds to support Australia’s national cultural institutions and a further $8.9 million for humanities eresearch infrastructure included in the Federal Budget announced last night.

An earlier media release issued by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP earmarked funding to help mitigate lost revenue from reduced visitor numbers at national cultural institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Fletcher said the funding would allow the cultural collections to ‘continue to showcase Australian history, culture and art to the public, in person and online.’

The additional $8.9 million will increase the capabilities of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Indigenous eresearch platforms and improve the way researchers discover, access, curate and analyse Australia’s social, cultural, heritage and Indigenous data.

‘The Government’s commitment to supporting our national cultural institutions and expanding the availability of high quality data for researchers is commendable,’ ALCC Copyright Law and Policy Adviser Ben Rice said.

‘The next step is to ensure that the copyright system appropriately supports making collection material and research outputs available online.’

Reforms to the Copyright Act announced in August will introduce much needed changes to copyright to make it easier for libraries and archives to share their collections with the public and for research bodies to quickly share their research outputs online.

‘Digitisation is incredibly important, but collecting institutions must also be able to confidently make that content available online,’ Mr Rice said.

The ALCC looks forward to participating in public consultation when draft legislation is released.

For more information about the announcement see the media release issued by the Minister Fletcher on Saturday 26 September 2020. More information on the Copyright access reforms is available on Minister Fletcher’s website and on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

ENDS

Interviews and media contact

Mr Rice is available for interviews by request. All media inquiries related to this media release should be directed to:

Mr Ben Rice
Executive Officer
Australian Libraries Copyright Committee

02 6262 1474
info@libcopyright.org.au

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