Last Updated: 06 Jun, 2023     Views: 17

As a general rule, copyright in Australia lasts "for the life of the author, plus 70 years". However, this may change depending on when the work was created, what kind of work it is and whether the author can be identified. The Australian Copyright Council has a fact sheet outlining copyright durations of different types of works.

If the copyright of a work has expired, the work falls into public domain. Works in the public domain are not covered by copyright law. However, elements of the work may still fall under trademark laws, e.g. logos.

It is also possible for some "works" to have multiple copyrights applied (e.g., for a music recording, the music might be out of copyright, but the performance is still within copyright). Sound and video recordings are particularly complicated in this regard.

The moral rights of an author expires at the same time as copyright protection. However, an author's estate can choose to bring a civil action against someone if they feel the use of the work is libelous or otherwise damaging.