How long does copyright last?

The duration of copyright varies depending on the type of material, its country of origin and when it was created.

From 1 January 2019, new changes to Australian copyright duration laws apply.

For literary works:

  • Where the author is known - the life of the author plus 70 years
  • Where the author is generally unknown:
    • if the work has not been made public within 50 years of creation – 70 years from when they were made public
    • if not made public, 70 years from creation

For films and sound recordings

  • If made public within 50 years of creation – 70 years from when made public
  • if not made public – 70 years from creation

For more details of the copyright terms, refer to the Department of Communications and the Arts table on the Duration of copyright.

To help determine the copyright terms of materials, see ALCC Copyright term flowcharts.

Adapted from ALCC’s Information Resources. Licenced under CC BY 4.0

 

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