Copyright and inclusive publishing

Libraries Kicking Copyright Goals

The Australian Library and Information Association has put together this sheet highlighting the copyright changes that libraries have helped to achieve since 2014.


Book covers agreement 

August 2016: The Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) came to a landmark agreement to allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking permission each time. They agreed on the value of an environment in which libraries can be confident, for promotional purposes, to reproduce images of book covers whose copyright is owned by Australian publishers. Find out more here.


Jolly Postman agreement 

September 2019: The Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) came to an agreement to allow libraries to photocopy the pull-out elements of books so as to ensure that the originals are not lost by users, without seeking permission each time. They agreed on the value of an environment in which libraries can be confident of being able to ensure that books with pull-out material remain usable, where the copyright is owned by Australian publishers.


Storytime agreement 

September 2019: The Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) came to an agreement to allow libraries to present storytime events outside of library premises without seeking permission each time. They agreed on the value of an environment in which libraries can be confident to put on storytime events outside of library premises where the copyright is owned by Australian publishers.


Copyright fact sheets

The Australian Libraries Copyright Committee has put together a range of fact sheets to help Australian librarians, archivists and related professionals navigate some of the more common interactions with copyright. The fact sheets, along with other helpful copyright materials, are available on the ALCC Resources page.


Copyright law reform

The Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill 2017 was passed in Parliament on 27 June 2018. The legislation took effect on 29 December, 2018, which meant that Australian disability organisations, education providers and cultural institutions were covered by the copyright safe harbour scheme from this date.

The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill was passed in Parliament on 15 June, 2017, and it included a number of important and overdue amendments that would dramatically free up how Australians can access and use copyright material. In July to August 2015, FAIR ran a campaign called Cooking for Copyright which raised awareness of of our muddled copyright law and lobbied for immediate reform.

Back then, FAIR published 35 handwritten recipes on the website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked ALIA Members, FAIR supporters and Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag. Within two weeks of the launch, the campaign was trending #1 on Twitter with more than 1 500 tweets and  9,973,809 Twitter impressions. FAIR and ALIA had incredible support from National and State Libraries Australasia, archive, museum and historical society colleagues, who provided dozens of recipes, ranging from perfect morning tea fodder through to weird medicinal products. 

With the help of ALIA and FAIR's Members, this campaign helped convince our politicians that change was needed to copyright law to unlock millions of items, putting them in the public domain. As a result millions of historical manuscripts - from celebrity letters and diaries held by the National, State and Territory libraries and archives, to the thousands of theses at our universities - were simultaneously freed into the public domain on 1 January 2019. Read the media release here.

We continue to advocate for improved provisions for orphan works, for copyright to override contracts and for fair use.


The Marrakesh Treaty and inclusive publishing

The Marrakesh Treaty (also known as the Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities) was signed by Australia in Geneva on 24 June 2014. One of the most important aspects of the treaty is the allowances it makes for books for people with print disabilities to be exported. Before the Treaty, copyright prohibited such cross-border trade which wasted time, money and resources world-wide.

ALIA is a member of the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative alongside associations representing publishers, authors, copyright owners and people living with print disabilities.

8 November 2016 View the communique

2 November 2017 View the communique

22 March 2018 View the communique

30 August 2018 View the communique


Helpful links 

Cooking for Copyright campaignAustralian Libraries Copyright Committee Australian Digital Alliance Open Media | Creationistas video