Length of time copyright lasts for
How long does copyright last for?
Copyright does not last forever and different rules apply to different types of work. Generally, material can be used without seeking permission once the copyright has expired.
The table below is a guide to some duration rules and applies to works made before 1 January 2019. For works made after 1 January 2019, and for more detailed information on copyright duration, see the Australian Copyright Council's information sheet on the Duration of Copyright.
|Type of Work||Duration|
|General rule for published works||Life of author + 70 years|
|Film & sound recordings||Year first published + 70 years|
|Published editions||Year first published + 25 years|
|Broadcast||Year first broadcast + 50 years|
|Artwork or photos||Life of author + 70 years|
|Crown copyright||Year first published or made + 50 years|
|Unpublished||Life of author + 70 years|
In Australia, there is no register of copyright material and no list of what material is in the “public domain” (i.e. out of copyright). Sometimes you will need to do some detective work to determine whether something is still protected by copyright.
If you're unsure of the copyright status of a work that you'd like to you, please contact the Senior Librarian (Copyright).