Length of time copyright lasts for
How long does copyright last?
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 still in copyright on 1 January 2005. On 1 January 2005 the period of protection for copyright material was extended under the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). There was, however, no revival of any copyright that expired before 1 January 2005 under the pre-AUSFTA rules.
|Type of Work||Duration|
|General rule for published works||Year creator died + 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||Year creator died + 70 years|
|Crown copyright||Year first published or made + 50 years|
|Unpublished||In copyright indefinitely|
For more details see the Australian Copyright Council's information sheet on the Duration of Copyright. In Australia, there is no register of copyright material, and no list of what material is in the “public domain”. Sometimes, you will need to do some detective work to determine whether or not something is still protected.