Copyright, Privilege and Members of Parliament
Download the full paper as PDF 65Kb
Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Briefing Paper No. 13/2000 by Gareth Griffith
The purpose of this paper is to comment upon the relationship between MPs and copyright law and to analyse the impact of the law of parliamentary privilege upon it. That relationship can be approached from at least three perspectives which can be categorised as the 'governmental', 'parliamentary' and 'private'.
- Under the 'governmental' category, when in government and acting in a ministerial capacity, an MP can claim the immunities granted to the Crown under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (pages 2-3).
- Under the 'parliamentary' category, an MP will also be able to claim the immunities which flow from parliamentary privilege, but only in relation to those activities which come under the umbrella of 'proceedings in parliament' (pages 3-8).
- Under the 'private' category, an MP can be taken to be a private individual and therefore subject to the normal application of the copyright law (pages 11-12).
- A potential fourth category is also discussed. This refers to the exemptions under the Copyright Act 1968 for copying by parliamentary libraries for MPs (pages 8-11).