Australians are about to get a glimpse into the creative worlds of well-known celebrities as part of a new social media campaign aimed at encouraging Australian audiences to support and respect creative rights of writers, musicians and artists.

Mental As Anything musician and Mambo artist Reg Mombassa, international crime author Tara Moss and The Project creator Rove McManus have joined campaign creators, the Copyright Agency and APRA AMCOS, to launch This Book/Song Changed My Life.

The social media campaign has been established to highlight the importance of Australian creativity, in light of some proposed changes to copyright laws that, if implemented, would damage Australian creativity. They are, the introduction of a US-style copyright system which would make content free and a change to rules about who is responsible for copyright infringement on websites such as YouTube.

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These proposals, the Copyright Agency and APRA AMCOS say, will put the incentives and innovation of new Australian creative content at risk.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says “Draft recommendations made by the Productivity Commission include the implementation of “Fair Use” – an American legal principle that has enabled large enterprises in the US to use copyright material for free. This, along with the proposed expansion of the Safe Harbour provision, would see Australian artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers not receiving fair payment for their work and make it substantially harder to make a living.”

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Brett Cottle said, “At a time when copyright is working in practice as it should, and just when the culturally-rich and economically vital business of music is getting back on its feet, it’s difficult to fathom why measures such as those relating to Safe Harbour expansion or so-called ‘fair use’ should be contemplated by government”.

The This Book/Song Changed My Life campaign will see well-known Australians share stories of the creative works that changed their lives. Participants include:

  • Reg Mombassa (Mental As Anything and Mambo artist)
  • Tara Moss (best-selling author and TV presenter)
  • Rove McManus (comedian, producer, radio presenter)
  • Sam Margin (musician, The Rubens)
  • Jake Speer (actor, Home & Away)
  • Joe Hildebrand (Studio 10 presenter, author and journalist)
  • Tracey Spicer (author, journalist and news anchor)
  • Isobelle Carmody (fantasy author of bestselling Obernewtyn Chronicles)
  • Michael Robotham (Gold Dagger award-winning crime author, Life or Death)
  • Nikki Gemmell (best-selling author, The Bride Stripped Bare)

This Book/Song Changed My Life will reveal how a creative work changed the course of each creative’s life, from influencing the content of their works, giving them the courage to be different and, most of all, inspiring them to follow their passion and creative pursuits.

The campaign will also ask Australians to upload their own stories and make a pledge to respect creators on their social media feeds, earning them a digital badge that will appear to their friends and followers, raising awareness of this important message of solidarity and respect.

By making the social pledge, Australians agree to pay for books and ebooks, attribute creators, ask permission when using material in their own creations and support the message of respecting copyright. The campaign will use the hashtags #respectcreators, #freeisnotfair and #poweredbycopyright to increase awareness.

“Now, more than ever, Australians need to support creativity to protect the future of Aussie inventiveness, vision and originality. By taking the pledge, each person is declaring their respect for creators, whose works are so often life-changing,” Mr Suckling says.

To view videos and find out more about This Book/Song Changed My Life visit
www.changedmylife.org.au.