Arts Law recently made a submission in response to the Law Reform Commission’s inquiry on privacyto ensure the rights of artists are not overlooked. As a society we are reliant on the records and stories captured by artists to understand and connect to our past and present. Without these, our ability to tell our nation’s stories could be irreparably eroded.
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Earlier this year Arts Law was contacted by a number of authors who wanted advice about their rights to royalties for sales of their books. Problems arose when the authors received letters from a new Australian publishing company, explaining that the first publishing house's business had been sold to the new company but without any obligation for the new company to continue paying royalties to the authors for sales of their books.
Existing Commonwealth legislation which currently protects aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage such as dance, ceremonies and oral stories is limited in that it is confined to matters of a tangible nature. Whilst there is some acknowledgment by Government for the need to reform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage laws, the Government is still to finalise its position on these reforms.
After a long legal battle in the US, Google’s Library Project, which has scanned over 20 million books, is held to be “fair use”. But, the story isn’t over yet, as the Author’s Guild prepares to bring an appeal to protect the interests of authors.
You may have wondered what the difference between a contract and a deed is, or whether a heads of agreement is binding. This article provides a brief summary of some of the more common forms of documents in the arts, and the differences between them.
Australian artists may have to live with an appropriation culture of mashups, sampling and appropriation of images by other artists if a ‘fair use’ exception to copyright infringement is introduced into the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).