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. Here is 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).
Who owns the intellectual property in the course outline and the lecture notes?
Whilst you are unlikely to run into any trouble telling a few of Seinfeld's jokes to your mates at the pub, the situation may change if you decide to incorporate the jokes into a book, an advertising campaign or your own stand up comedy routine.
When it comes to making a statement online it may seem like anything goes: blog rant, LOL-cap someone's photo, flame a forum, whatever. Yet while the Internet is a fantastic space where anyone can have a say on anything it's important to remember that 'real world' defamation laws still apply.