The in Victoria, Australia. “The Parliament shall, subject

The Australian law of
copyright 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
be made.

Over time, Australian
copyright law had been greatly adapted to fit British and International
copyright law. The first form of copyright that the British had created was the
Statue of Anne, 1709, which gave some weak protection to authors. Until British
copyright law had been brought to Australia, 1928, it started protecting
sculptures and engravings. Over time, it evolved, adding speeches, paintings,
and photographs. Long before British law had been adapted, some colonies (later
called 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,

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

“The Parliament shall, subject
to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good
government of the Commonwealth with respect to, inter alia, copyright, patents
of inventions and designs, and trademarks” -Commonwealth Constitution,
section 51

After Australia
joined the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth constitution allowed the Parliament
to make laws for order, peace, and good government. 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. Australian
law protects literary works, musical works, films, artistic works, broadcast,
dramatic works, sound recordings, 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. The
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
purposes. 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. In 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 indefinitely.

Australian 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.