1st Edition

Streaming and Copyright Law An end-user perspective

By Lasantha Ariyarathna Copyright 2023
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the challenges posed to Australian copyright law by streaming, from the end-user perspective. It compares the Australian position with the European Union and United States to draw lessons from them, regarding how they have dealt with streaming and copyright. By critically examining the technological functionality of streaming and the failure of copyright enforcement against the masses, it argues for strengthening end-user rights.

    The rising popularity of streaming has resulted in a revolutionary change to how digital content, such as sound recordings, cinematographic films, and radio and television broadcasts, is used on the internet. Superseding the conventional method of downloading, using streaming to access digital content has challenged copyright law, because it is not clear whether end-user acts of streaming constitute copyright infringement. These prevailing grey areas between copyright and streaming often make end-users feel doubtful about accessing digital content through streaming. It is uncertain whether exercising the right of reproduction is appropriately suited for streaming, given the ambiguities of “embodiment” and scope of “substantial part”. Conversely, the fair dealing defence in Australia cannot be used aptly to defend end-users’ acts of streaming digital content, because end-users who use streaming to access digital content can rarely rely on the defence of fair dealing for the purposes of criticism or review, news reporting, parody or satire, or research or study. When considering a temporary copy exception, end-users are at risk of being held liable for infringement when using streaming to access a website that contains infringing digital content, even if they lack any knowledge about the content’s infringing nature. Moreover, the grey areas in circumventing geo-blocking have made end-users hesitant to access websites through streaming because it is not clear whether technological protection measures apply to geo-blocking. End-users have a severe lack of knowledge about whether they can use circumvention methods, such as virtual private networks, to access streaming websites without being held liable for copyright infringement. Despite the intricacies between copyright and access to digital content, the recently implemented website-blocking laws have emboldened copyright owners while suppressing end-users’ access to digital content. This is because the principles of proportionality and public interest have been given less attention when determining website-blocking injunctions.



    1 Introduction

    2 Technological Aspects of Streaming

    3 The Impact of Copyright Law on Streaming

    4 Copyright Defences or Exceptions for Streaming Digital Content

    5 Circumvention of Geo-Blocking, Technological Protection Measures, and Streaming

    6 Website Blocking as a New Enforcement Mechanism, Streaming, and End-Users

    7 Conclusion and Recommendations




    Lasantha Ariyarathna (LLB (Hons) Colombo, LLM (La Trobe), M IP Law (QUT), PhD (Griffith)) has functioned as a Research Assistant at the Law Futures Centre at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.