Finding free family history records of Australian ancestors

A major change looming for writers of history

Considering writing about your family history? Are you a society that publishes information online? Maybe you’re a blogger or run a website like this one…

There is a major change looming in Australia that may impact your rights to your own creative work!

In 2015 the Australian Productivity Commission commenced an inquiry into Australia’s “intellectual property arrangements”. In April 2016 it released its draft report and made numerous recommendations. You can read it here: Draft report

In short, the report is recommending significant changes to Australia’s copyright laws such that your information will no longer be protected by the “70 year” rule wherein you (the creator) retain ownership of the copyright for 70 years beyond the date of your death. This applies to written works (published or not), photographs, graphics, logos, artwork - in fact any kind of creative content.

In terms of copyright, the report recommends that Australia should adopt a “fair use” exception for copyright. In reality this means that your work is fair game for anyone that wishes to use it, without your permission and without any compensation. It may also lead to less information being published - online or offline - as creators seek to protect their work from theft and plagiarism.

Want to protect your copyright? What you can do now…

  • Attend a public hearing. There are a number of public hearings underway in the major capital cities. The timetable can be viewed here Hearing timetable
  • Write to your local politician and voice your concerns.
  • In the upcoming election, ask for your candidate’s view on this issue and consider it when casting your vote.
  • Share this information with all those you feel may be affected or interested.