Copyright Act and regulation changes

Notice of Seizure and Claim for Release of Goods

Customs to give a Copyright owner (objector), who lodges a Notice of Objection about imported goods, contact and other relevant information about the Australian importer and foreign supplier or exporter of the goods. The changes also re-structure the existing provisions to provide clarify.

Review of the scheme for dealing with copies of goods under a Notice of Objection. An importer who wants the seized copies back must make a 'claim for return' to Customs. The Copyright Regulations 1969 will specify that the claim for return will include information which would enable an objector to contact the importer and instigate legal proceedings for infringement. The seized goods will only be released to the importer if the objector consents, or does not institute legal proceedings, or a court finds that the seized copies are not infringing.

Inspection of seized goods

Clarifies that Customs can permit the objector to inspect or remove multiple samples of the seized goods. This is to provide a representative sample of the goods in question and allow the parties to make a more accurate determination as to whether the consignment contains infringing copies.

Forfeit & disposal of seized goods

Where no claim for release is made by the importer of the seized goods, under section 135 AEA, then the goods are forfeited to the Commonwealth.

Where an importer makes a claim for release but fails to collect the goods within 90 days, then the goods are forfeited to the Commonwealth. This ensures that Customs is not required to store goods indefinitely.

Customs will deal with forfeited goods by disposing of them this ensures that importers of non-infringing goods can be compensated if their copies are disposed of by Customs. Introduces a 30 day holding period before forfeited goods can be disposed of. This time period ensures that importers of seized goods have enough time in which to make a claim for their goods.

Amendments to remove the requirement that Customs must dispose of forfeited goods in the manner prescribed by the Copyright Regulations 1969. The disposal of forfeited goods is now dealt with by new section 135AI.