With how easily content can be reproduced and disseminated digitally, copyright owners now also employ technological protection measures (TPM) to prevent unauthorised access or use of copyright works. TPM covers many different types of technologies used to control access to copyright content. Content that is protected by these measures could include digital music, movies, games, software and many more.

With TPM applied to your copyright works, you, as the owner, may take action against a person who:

  1. Scenario A - knowingly circumvents (i.e. to avoid, bypass remove, deactivate, descramble, decrypt, or impair) a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work
  2. Scenario B - manufactures, imports, distributes, offers to the public, provides or otherwise traffics in any device, product or component which
    1. is promoted, advertised or marketed for the purpose of circumventing the technological measure,
    2. has limited commercial significance other than to circumvent the technological measure, or
    3. is designed or made primarily for the purpose of circumventing the technological measure ("circumventing device");
  3. Scenario C - offers to the public or provides any service which
    1. is promoted, advertised or marketed for the purpose of circumventing the technological measure,
    2. has limited commercial significance other than to circumvent the technological measure, or
    3. is performed primarily for the purpose of circumventing the technological measure ("circumventing service").
Criminal liability in respect of circumvention of TPMs

The law criminalises the above acts when performed willfully and or the purpose of obtaining any commercial advantages or private financial gain.

Penalties
 Where a person…

… performs an act in Scenario A

  • A fine not exceeding $20,000;

…performs an act in Scenario B

  • A fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or
  • imprisonment up to two years

… performs an act in Scenario C


Civil remedies

The owner of the copyright may take civil action against a person who does any of the acts described above. Civil remedies available include:

  1. injunction;
  2. either damages (including any profi that are attributable to the circumvention of the TPM); or statutory damages in lieu of damages of not more than $20,000;
  3. order for delivery up of any articles used to carry out the circumvention of the TPM to the copyright owner or exclusive licensee;
  4. or order for destruction.