Australian copyright law

Australian copyright law is based on the Berne Convention and defines copyright in Australia.

Public Domain

Australia uses a "Life plus 50" rule for determining when a work will enter the public domain. Put simply, a work enters the public domain 50 years following the year of the creator's death. For example, an author who died in 1950 entered the public domain in 2001.

The interesting consequence of this for the Internet is that a work may be public domain in the US but not in Australia, or vice versa.

By contrast, the European Union has adopted a "Life plus 70" rule. United States copyright law defines an entirely different rule based on the year of first publication in the US: generally, anything published before 1923 is public domain.

It is important to note that copyright does not depend on the country of origin of publication or of the author. A work published in the US by a British author may still be public domain in Australia if the author died more than 50 years ago.

External Link

Australian Copyright Act


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