Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Australia

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Copyright rules: Australia
Shortcut: COM:AUSTRALIA
Flag of Australia
Map of Australia
Durations
Standard Life + 70 years
Anonymous Publish + 70 years
Government Creation + 50 years
Other
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 AUS
Treaties
Berne convention 14 April 1928
WTO member 1 January 1995
URAA restoration date 1 January 1996
WIPO treaty 26 July 2007

This page provides an overview of copyright rules of Australia relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Australia must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Australia and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Australia, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.

Governing laws

Australia has been a member of the Berne Convention since 14 April 1928, the World Trade Organization since 1 January 1995 and the WIPO Copyright Treaty since 26 July 2007.[1] As of 2018 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, listed the Copyright Act 1968 (consolidated as of December 22, 2017) as the main IP law enacted by the legislature of Australia.[1] WIPO holds the text of this law in their WIPO Lex database.[2] WIPO also holds the text of the individual acts that have modified the 1968.[1]

Non-government works

The Australian Copyright Act 1968 was amended as of the 1st January 2005 and further amended in February 2008. Prior to these amendments the time limit was 50 years. The amendments were not retroactive, copyrights that had expired were not revived. Under the Copyright Act 1968 (consolidated as of December 22, 2017),

  • Australian copyright is applied to works published first in Australia or whose original author is/was an Australian citizen, Australian resident or person under protection of the Australian government.
  • Subject to this section, copyright that subsists in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work by virtue of this Part continues to subsist until the end of 70 years after the end of the calendar year in which the author of the work died.[1968–2017 Sec.33(2)]
  • For posthumous works, copyright subsistsd until the end of 70 years after the end of the calendar year in which the work is first published, performed in public, or broadcast, or records of the work are first offered or exposed for sale to the public, whichever is the earliest of those events to happen.[1968–2017 Sec.33(3)]
  • For anonymous or pseudonymous works, the copyright expires 70 years after the first publication of the work.[1968–2017 Sec.34]

Following this logic:

  • All published works whose author deceased before 1 January 1955 are in the public domain.
  • What is more, since works that went out of copyright before the change of the law in 2005 did not regain copyright, all published works whose author died before 1 January 1955 are public domain, as they went out of copyright before the new law came into effect. Copyright is lost at the start of the next year, so works of authors who died in 1955 will not be out of copyright until 2026.
  • All anonymous/pseudonymous works published before 1 January 1955 are in the public domain.
  • Unpublished works are not in the public domain.
  • Photographs (published or unpublished) taken before 1 January 1955 are in the public domain.

Government-produced works

Under the Copyright Act 1968 (consolidated as of December 22, 2017),

  • The Commonwealth or a State is the owner of the copyright in an original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work made by, or under the direction or control of, the Commonwealth or the State, as the case may be.[1968–2017 Sec.176(2)]
  • Copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work of which the Commonwealth or a State is the owner ... (a) where the work is unpublished—continues to subsist so long as the work remains unpublished; and (b) where the work is published—subsists, or, if copyright in the work subsisted immediately before its first publication, continues to subsist, until the expiration of 50 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which the work was first published.[1968–2017 Sec.180(1)]

Copyright tags

Shortcut
COM:TAG Australia

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Australia}} – for Australian photographs published 70 years after the death of the creator, or photographs taken prior to 1955
  • {{PD-Australia-currency}} – for coins designed before 1 May 1969
  • {{PD-AustraliaGov}} – for government works whose copyright has expired

Currency

Shortcut
COM:CUR Australia

See also: Commons:Currency

X mark.svg Not OK for coins or banknotes designed on or after 1 May 1969.
Symbol OK.svgOK for coins or banknotes designed before 1 May 1969, but under the following conditions: Derivative works of images of banknotes are expressly forbidden. Low resolution images of banknotes are allowed for editorial or educational purposes, as long as only one side of a bank note is featured. See website for details of exact size requirements for images.

Designs from prior to 1 May 1969 are in the public domain, and should use the tag {{PD-Australia-currency}}.

Freedom of panorama

Shortcut
COM:FOP Australia

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

  • Symbol OK.svgOK for sculpture "that is situated, otherwise than temporarily, in a public place, or in premises open to the public": {{FoP-Australia}}
  • Symbol OK.svgOK for buildings and models of buildings: {{FoP-Australia}}
  • Symbol OK.svgOK for "works of artistic craftsmanship" such as ceramics, embroidery, metal smithing, woodworking, crafted glass, and jewellery "that is situated, otherwise than temporarily, in a public place, or in premises open to the public": {{FoP-Australia}}
  • X mark.svg Not OK for: paintings, drawings, engravings or photographs.[3]

Freedom of Panorama is dealt with in the Australian Copyright Act, sections 65–68, and is based on the laws of the United Kingdom. See COM:CRT/United Kingdom#Freedom of panorama for more details. Jane FitzGerald of the Australian Copyright Council wrote an essay in September 1997 on “Work of artistic craftsmanship” under Australian law, which may be relevant, although it pre-dates the 2017 version of the Act.[4]

Stamps

See also: Commons:Stamps/Public domain

Red copyright.svg Australia Post claims copyright ownership of Australian stamps for 50 years from publication (http://www.caslon.com.au/ipguide24.htm). The stamps published before 1 January 1969 can be tagged with {{PD-Australia}}.

Threshold of originality

Shortcut
COM:TOO Australia

See also: Commons:Threshold of originality

X mark.svg Not OK for most logos. The level of originality required for copyright protection in Australia is very low. Images showing the en:Australian Aboriginal Flag have been consistently deleted from Commons, since an Australian court has ruled that the flag is copyrighted.[5] E.g.

See also

Citations

  1. a b c Australia Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights). WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization (2018). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  2. Copyright Act 1968 (consolidated as of December 22, 2017). Australia (2017). Retrieved on 2018-11-04.
  3. Information Sheet G011v15 - Photographers & Copyright. Australian Copyright Council (February 2012).
  4. Jane FitzGerald. [What is a “work of artistic craftsmanship”?. Craft Victoria.
  5. Harold Joseph Thomas v David George Brown & James Morrison Vallely Tennant [1997 FCA 215]. Federal Court of Australia (9 April 1997).
Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer