The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act which came into effect on the 22 December 2017 introduced two new exceptions for access by persons with a disability:
- Fair dealing for purpose of access by persons with a disability
- Use of copyright material by organisations assisting persons with a disability
These simplified exceptions ensure more equitable access to copyright material for persons with a disability and replace the disability provisions in the educational statutory license (Part VA & VB) and the special case exception (s200AB).
A person with a disability is defined as a anyone who suffers from a disability that them difficulty in reading, viewing, hearing or comprehending copyright material in a particular form.
Copyright material may be used for the purpose of providing an accessible version to a person with a disability. This provision can be relied on by the person with a disability, or a person acting on their behalf.
The dealing must still be deemed to be fair with regard to the following four factor test:
- the purpose and character of the dealing;
- the nature of the copyright material;
- the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the material; and
- if only a part of the material is dealth with - the amount and substantiality of the part dealt with, taken in relation to the whole material.
It could cover such acts as making an electronic copy of a physical text which can be read by screenreader software, or adding captions to an audio-visual work.
This exception allows the University to make accessible format copies of material for the sole purpose of assisting a person with a disability. This can only be relied on if the material is not commercially available in the format required.