Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

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:


Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.