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People with disabilities
There are separate provisions in the Australian Copyright Act that cover copying material in the most accessible format available for people with a disability. The Act defines a disability as anything causing a person difficulty in reading, viewing, hearing or accessing content.
This exception allows the copying of material without permission under particular circumstances.
It is intended to provide people with a disability equitable access to material and is suitable for use by individuals.
In order to be considered a fair dealing, the use must meet four fairness factors:
The purpose and character of the dealing: Is the purpose of the use to facilitate access and character of use educational and non-commercial?
The nature of the material: Is the material unpublished, published in an inaccessible format or currently unavailable due to preparation of a new edition?
The effect on the potential market for the material: Is the material commercially available in the format that is most accessible? If so, the fair dealing exception for access by persons with a disability is not appropriate in this instance.
The amount and substantiality of the dealing: For disability access, it will often be fair to copy the entire work.
Examples of fair dealing for access by persons with a disability:
Making adjustments to the size and colour of graphs, tables, text;
Scanning a book for use with assistive technology;
Providing audio descriptions.
This provision permits institutions such as Curtin University to make accessible format copies of copyright material to assist a person with a disability.
‘Copyright material’ is defined as ‘anything in which copyright subsists’, which includes literary works and audio visual material.
The provision is subject to a ‘commercial availability test’ to ensure the use does not ‘unreasonably impact on the commercial interest of a copyright holder’.
The University must be satisfied that the material is not commercially available, that is, cannot be obtained in an appropriate format within a reasonable time, and at an ordinary commercial price.
If a commercial copy is available, you are obliged to purchase the copy instead of making the copy under this provision.