Australia's parliament has passed the Copyright Digital Agenda Bill prompting both directors and producers to issue media statements claiming they have won the long-running battle over directors' copyright.

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) claimed victory on the basis that the new legislation was passed without the controversial amendment that would have given directors some ownership in films and TV programming.

But this was hardly mentioned by the Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA), which claimed the decision by three government ministers to begin consultations on how to reform copyright was a major breakthrough in their campaign to get directors the recognition they deserve.

The legislation means that copyright holders - which do not yet include directors - will now be paid when free-to-air broadcasts of their work are re-transmitted on pay-TV. Opposition parties allowed the bill to pass on the condition that a review takes place, but it is not clear whether this will only consider the issue of directors' copyright or the whole area of authorship.

The Australian government will call for submissions in September and come to a resolution before the end of the year.

"It is absolutely astonishing that Australian directors acclaimed worldwide do not even have the most basic creative or financial rights that are accorded to directors in the rest of the filmmaking world," said director Gillian Armstrong in ASDA's statement.