Copyright and Online Collections

In August 2012 the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released an Issues Paper, Copyright and the Digital Economy, as part of its inquiry into copyright reform.

The paper raises important questions for museums about how current exceptions for collecting institutions and statutory licences are working in the digital environment.

CAMD’s response to the paper outlines the problems museums are encountering, particularly in giving the public online access to collections, under the current copyright regime. In many cases, despite a diligent search, no copyright owner can be found for objects donated to or collected by museums but concerns about their legal status prevents online publication.

CAMD encourages the ALRC to consider  the reform of the Copyright Act to provide for a broad ‘fair use’ exception for museums, galleries, archives and libraries.   Such an approach would permit the private use of digitized works, especially where the use does not interfere with a copyright owner’s market.

For further information see CAMD’s submission to the inquiry below:

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