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Digital Access: The Impact of Copyright on Digitisation Practices in Australian Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives

UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2007

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 300

55 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007  

Emily Hudson

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law; T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Andrew T. Kenyon

University of Melbourne Law School

Abstract

Empirical research into the digitisation of collections in Australian museums, galleries, libraries and archives suggests that copyright law affects what material is digitised and how it is made accessible. This article analyses digitisation within cultural institutions in light of the Digital Agenda reforms of 2000 and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 (Cth). Copyright law can have a significant impact on digitisation practices, particularly with regard to digitising audiovisual material and orphan works, and in relation to digital access: that is, the public availability of digital content. Research suggests that, for the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Copyright Act) to work on its own terms, some small-scale reforms are required. However, the research also underscores larger questions about the sustainability of existing copyright law and practice. Provisions in the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 (Cth) may improve the situation, depending on the operation of the new flexible dealing exception for the sector in s 200AB. This suggests the need for continued attention and debate on copyright exceptions and the possibility of new collective licensing models.

Keywords: digital, copyright, access, digitisation, museum, gallery, library, archive, Australia

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Hudson, Emily and Kenyon, Andrew T., Digital Access: The Impact of Copyright on Digitisation Practices in Australian Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives. ; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 300. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1065622

Emily Hudson (Contact Author)

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Andrew T. Kenyon

University of Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
61 3 8344 9972 (Phone)
61 3 9348 0973 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/cmcl/

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