copyright law is a very interesting topic. It has changed over time, along with
the Australian government. Nowadays, it is close to other country’s copyright
regarding laws and is very complex, with many case-to-case decisions needed to
time, Australian copyright law had been greatly influenced by British and
International copyright law. At first, the British had created the Statue of
Anne, 1709, which gave some weak protection to authors. Until British law had
been introduced to Australia, 1928, it gained the protection of engravings and
sculptures. Over time, it evolved, adding speeches, paintings, and photographs.
Long before British law had been adapted, some colonies (later states) had
their own type of copyright law which could vary from colony to colony. The
very first copyright statue was passed in a colony in Victoria, Australia.
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Australia joined the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth constitution allowed the
Parliament to make laws for peace, order, and good government of the
Commonwealth. As the Australian constitution gave that power to the Parliament
too, immediate changes had been made. From then on, copyright law and all
related things no longer were the business of the states, but the federal
parliament. The first copyright statue that evolved in the hands of the federal
parliament, was the Copyright Act 1905, an adapted version of British law.
Australia fully became part of British copyright law, when adopting the British
Copyright law, 1911, in 1912. This act stayed in force, until 1969, when the
Australian Copyright Act 1968 came into force. The Copyright Act 1968 was
created after the 1911 Act was reviewed and apparently not fulfilling the
Brussels Act of the Berne Convention. Until now, the 1968 Act is in force,
however, some amendments had been made.
law protects literary works, musical works, artistic works, dramatic works,
sound recordings, films, broadcast, and published editions. Before 2004, the
work entered public domain 50 years after death, however, after 2006, the works
stayed out of public domain until 70 years after death. In Australia, copyright
does not apply to works published before May, 1969. According to the 1968 Act,
any work published after the author’s death will come to public domain not 70
years after the author’s death, but 70 years after the publication. Unpublished
literary, dramatic, and musical works hold indefinite copyright protection.
main copyright exception in Australia is fair dealing (not to misunderstand as
fair use), which allow usage of copyrighted works that fall into range of
specific purpose. Each type of work varies, but some possibilities are
research, study, news-reporting, review, criticism, judicial proceedings, or
professional legal advice. Some other exceptions fall under private copying.
From 2006 on, recording broadcast to watch or listen to later, to make copies
of audio recordings for domestic and private use, or to copy a newspaper,
magazine, or literary work for private use.
Australia, a copyright notice does not have to be on a work for copyright to
apply. However, it is recommended to add the date of first publication and
owner. Copyrights can also be owned by the crown in Australia, however, they
only last for 50 years after creation or publication. The exception are
unpublished literary, dramatic, and musical works, which hold copyright
copyright has changed over years, from the very first statue protecting authors,
to the Copyright Amendment Act 2017 has become effective. It has evolved in a
way like no other, and is definitely interesting with its complexity.