The new law will create punishing potential liability for search engines who do not secure permission for indexing, cacheing and and searching every website in their database. In order to protect themselves from liability, search engine operators would have to contact every single web-author who ever lived.
Critics say Australian copyright laws do not take into account how information is gathered and presented on the Internet.Link, Link (Thanks, Dan!)
Dr Rimmer says Internet search engines could be crippled by the proposed copyright changes, which protect libraries, archives and research institutions but leave commercial entities like Google out in the cold.
He says this will affect the ability of search engines to engage in digitisation projects like book search, provide images, index news stories and archive web content.
"Given the amount of litigation that Google has been involved in the last year, I think they've got very genuine fears that they could be subject to copyright actions in Australia," he said.
He says rather than adopting the narrow "fair use" definitions contained in the legislation, Australia should adopt a US-style open-ended fair-use defence to ensure a flow of and access to information.
Update: Mark Pesce has a great op-ed about this in today's Melbourne Age.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.