Copyright Amendment Bill

copyright amendment

Bathurst and Western District Directory and Tourist’s Guide and Gazetteer 1886-87 [RAHS Manuscript Collection]

On 22 March 2017 the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill will end perpetual copyright for unpublished materials. As a result millions of historical manuscripts will be freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019.

The Australian Libraries and Copyright Committee released a statement on the tabling of the Copyright Amendment Bill ─ Captain Cook’s Diaries Free Thanks to Copyright Bill. The full Press Statement is available by clicking here.

According to the Press Statement “The Bill ends antiquated provisions in the Australian Copyright Act that provide perpetual copyright for unpublished materials, no matter how old they are. As a result millions of historical manuscripts – from celebrity letters and diaries held by the National, State and Territory libraries and archives, to the thousands of theses at our universities – will be simultaneously freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019. This bounty will be a major boon for Australian artists, researchers, teachers, innovators and historians, as they gain access to materials that were previously locked unusable behind overly strict copyright law.”

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