Public Access to Copyright Works Submitted to Government: Copyright Agency Ltd v. New South Wales and the Implications for Information Access
19 Pages Posted: 22 May 2011 Last revised: 31 Aug 2012
Date Written: May 20, 2011
Governments create and commission copyright protected material as part of their core administrative functions and they sometimes compete with the private sector as developers of commercially valuable assets. Governments also under licence copyright protected material owned and created by others. A wide range of copyright material is also submitted to State and federal governments when individuals and corporations comply with legal obligations or conduct business with government agencies. That material submitted to governments, and the information it contains, can have value that extends beyond the initial transaction. Governments can add value by compiling and processing the information and then charge the public for access. Material submitted to government is also an important source of information source of information about how governments function. When the principles of open government and transparency are discussed, the primary focus is usually upon access to information recorded in documents created within government agencies. However, it is often necessary to extend access to documents received by agencies. Copyright in that material will be privately owned and that can conflict with public access.
Keywords: Public access, copyright, copyright agency ltd v. New South Wales, government and copyright, information access, commission copyright
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation