TV & Radio

Jan 25, 2016

‘A nightmare’: ABC archives at risk as copyright concerns hamper digitisation

Copyright laws mean some of Australia's cultural history might disappear forever.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

An ABC film crew on the job in Hobart circa 1960 (Source: ABC Archive)

The ABC might not be able to preserve historically significant programs like episodes of Four Corners, Catalyst, Quantum and Compass, documentaries series like Liberals and Labor in Power, and state-based news programs, because copyright laws make it difficult to digitise such content without clearance from multiple copyright holders.

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6 thoughts on “‘A nightmare’: ABC archives at risk as copyright concerns hamper digitisation

  1. Norman Hanscombe

    I’d expect Myriam that on such a worthy project as this, there’d be a united front across the media and significant public arena entities to cooperate fully on achieving the necessary support for whatever legislation was required.

  2. Nicholas

    Australia’s adoption of aspects of United States copyright law for the sake of a Free Trade Agreement of negligible benefit to Australia is a major obstacle to copyright law reform in this county. We need to dump the US-Australia FTA and write a copyright statue that promotes public purpose. Rent-seeking, not public purpose, is currently at the heart of our copyright law. That has to be changed.

  3. paddy

    Thank goodness for torrents.

  4. zut alors

    The ABC archives are just as significant as the National Library – history must be preserved.
    Philistine government bean-counters will proclaim it’s no longer viable to keep records of our images, our evolution.

    But, hey, let’s buy more fighter jets which will be redundant in the next decade.

  5. AR

    Of course it is purely about copyright and nothing at all to do with the growing predilection of the powerful for the ever gaping memory hole.

  6. Lee Tinson

    So, are we being asked to go along with the idea that private media are allowed to sue the ABC if it makes available archive material for which those companies hold a notional copyright but in which they didn’t have enough interest to even keep a copy themselves?

    Now THAT’s what I call rent-seeking. I expect we’re talking about places like Seven, are we? After their efforts at the tennis today I expect they’d call this “just business”.

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