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Duration of copyright

Copyright material made before 1 January 2019 (other than Government copyright material)

14 Apr 2018

On 1 January 2019, changes to Australia’s copyright duration laws will come into effect.

Amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 will apply new standard terms of copyright protection in Australia to a range of copyright materials. This includes literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, films and Crown copyright materials.

These new standard terms will apply to:

  • new copyright material created from 1 January 2019
  • existing copyright material that is not published or otherwise made public before 1 January 2019, and
  • Crown (Government) copyright material.

It is important to note:

  • If copyright in material has already expired by 1 January 2019, it will not be revived.
  • For the first time in Australia, copyright terms will apply to materials that are not published (or otherwise made public).
  • For some older unpublished materials, the new terms will have the effect that copyright in the material has expired by 1 January 2019.
  • When copyright expires, the material falls into the ‘public domain’ and may be freely used by anyone
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