Technological Protection Measures and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006
What are technological protection measures?
'Technological protection measures' is a broad term that covers many different types of technologies used to control access to copyright content, or to prevent users from copying protected content. Content that is protected by a copy protection technology could include movies, games, software, CDs or digital music files, or even content stored in a protected area on a website (eg, where you have to pay money or enter a password to access the content).
There are two types of technological protection measures:
- "Access Control Technological Protection Measures " - which we will refer to as 'access control technologies' in this Fact Sheet.
- "Copy Control Technological Protection Measures " which we will refer to as 'copy control technologies' in this Fact Sheet.
'Circumvention devices' are technologies that are used to remove, disable or circumvent technological protection measures. A 'circumvention service' is a service offered by someone to remove, disable or circumvent a technological protection measure.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT ANY COPYRIGHT CONTENT IN DIGITAL FORMAT COULD BE PROTECTED BY A TECHNOLOGICAL PROTECTION MEASURE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSIDER WHETHER THE REMOVAL OR ALTERATION OF THIS TECHNOLOGICAL PROTECTION MEASURE WOULD BE PROHIBITED BY THE COPYRIGHT ACT.
What are the rules about technological protection measures?
The rules are:
- You are allowed to remove, disable or circumvent a copy control technology.
- You are almost never allowed to remove, disable or circumvent an access control technology.
This means that schools cannot copy films, sound recordings, games or software in any circumstances if making the copy would involve the circumvention of an access control technology.
There are only 2 situations where you are allowed to remove, disable or circumvent an access control technology:
- when you are removing etc the access control technology in order to make a copy from a work in electronic form under the Statutory Print Licence (the Part VB licence administered by the Copyright Agency Ltd – CAL); or
- if you have obtained permission from the copyright owner.
- You are allowed to manufacture, download or import a circumvention device as long as it is for your own use.
You are never allowed to do the following acts with a circumvention device:
- manufacture or import it with the intention of giving it to anyone else (including someone else in a school)
- provide or distribute it to another person (including someone else in a school)
- offer it to the public (eg, advertising)
- communicate it (including emailing, or making it available on an intranet or the internet).
- You are never allowed to give a circumvention device to anyone else (including sharing), or provide, or offer to provide, a circumvention service to anyone else (including someone else in a school).
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What are access control technologies?
Access control technologies are technological protection measures which are used by copyright owners to control access to their content. Some examples of access control technologies could be:
- password control systems (eg, a 'members only' password which limits access to special content on a website to authorised members)
- payment systems (eg, where you have to pay a fee to access certain content on a website).
For example, the Choice website has some freely available publications and some publications that are restricted to people who have paid to access them
- time access controls (eg, a technology that manages how long you can access copyright content).
For example, some movie download sites allow you to 'rent' and watch a movie for a period of time (eg, 24 hours). An access control disables your access to the film at the end of the 24 hour period.
- encryption measures applied to tapes or disks that only allow access to copyright content (eg, the film or music stored on the disk) to authorised players.
What are copy control technologies?
- Copy control technologies are technological protections measures applied to copyright content which prevent, inhibit or restrict the doing of a copyright act with that content (eg, making a copy of a protected film, emailing it or putting it online).
- Some examples of copy control technologies could be:
- a software lock which prevents you from making a copy of a computer program
- encryption measures stored on the disk containing a movie or CD which prevent you from copying the movie or songs on the disk
- a technology that 'locks' documents to prevent them from being copied (eg, the function that 'locks' a PDF document to stop you from making a copy)
- a technology that makes an unauthorised copy of a film unwatchable (eg, some copy protection technologies add elements to the signal produced by a DVD/VHS player which make any recording of the film unwatchable).
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What can I do if I am not allowed to circumvent an access control technology?
In many situations, it will not be possible to copy a DVD or CD (or other copyright content) because to do so would involve circumventing an access control technology.
This does not mean that schools/TAFEs cannot use these types of content. It just means that you may have to use the content in a different way (ie, in a way that does not involve making a copy).
Teachers are allowed to play music, films and games to students in the following ways:
- playing a film on a VHS or DVD player in the classroom
- using a centralised VHS or DVD player (eg, in the library) to beam a movie to the classroom via an electronic reticulation system
- playing a film or music in class using a computer eg, playing it from the DVD drive of a computer connected to a large screen in the classroom (for a film) or loudspeakers (for music)
- playing a film or music to a virtual class (eg, through software such as Centra)
- playing a film or music from a learning management system eg, playing an educational resource that has been legally stored on Clickview
- making a copy of a film from television (under the Part VA licence administered by Screenrights) and making a digital copy of this version of the film.
Frequently asked questions about technological protection measures
It is very important to realise that each technological protection measure works differently. Different types of content (eg, VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs and computer games) may have different types of technological protection measures.
IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO WORK OUT IF A PARTICULAR PROTECTION MEASURE IS AN 'ACCESS CONTROL' OR A 'COPY CONTROL' TECHNOLOGY.
Note: these frequently asked questions relate mostly to copying movies on DVD or video tape and music CDs. If you have a question about other technologies or types of content, please contact your local CAG representative.
- How do I know if something is an access control technology or a copy control technology.
- As there are so many different types of technologies out there, this is very a difficult question to answer. There is no hard and fast rule that can be applied to determine which type of technology each one is. Ultimately each type of technolgical protection measure needs to be analysed against the technical definitions in the Copyright Act to determine whether it is an access control technology or a copy control technology.
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