Cooking for Copyright

Cooking for Copyright 

ALIA's advocacy tool, FAIR, is campaigning for copyright law reform – it’s long overdue.

The Cooking for Copyright campaign focused on one thing in particular, the fact that in Australia, while copyright is limited to 70 years after the death of the creator for published works, for unpublished works copyright lasts forever.

Unpublished works include old diaries, letters, company records, theses – even recipes. The copyright rules as they currently stand mean that these manuscripts, valuable pieces of social history, are locked away – to no one’s benefit. We’d like the same copyright terms for unpublished works as for published works.

The impact is felt by our big collecting institutions, museums, historical societies, university libraries and by public libraries with local history collections. These items cannot legally be digitised and made accessible to the community, family historians, researchers, and others who would find them a useful and fascinating resource.

Here's a story from WA that captures the essence of the problem - Dear Irene ... Lavender Blue.

And another beautiful story about A Grandmother's Legacy.

We asked FAIR supporters to stir up public interest in the reform of this archaic system with Cooking for Copyright Day on 31 July. 

FAIR asked library and museum collections across Australia to supply lots of handwritten recipes which, according to the current law, shouldn’t be shared – but they were published on the FAIR website anyway. FAIR asked followers to cook up one of these recipes – or choose an old favourites – and send us a photo.

Photos were shared to friends online, posted to FAIR's facebook page. FAIR supporters were asked to use the hashtag #cookingforcopyright.

FAIR also asked for family recipes from the 1950s and earlier which were published to FAIR's facebook page as well.

Senator George Brandis, the Attorney General, who has the unenviable task of unravelling the current copyright regime. Senator Brandis is yet to provide a satisfactory response to the findings of the Australian Law Reform Commission report of February 2014 into Copyright and the Digital Economy. 



Cooking for Copyright - Full Report

Cooking for Copyright - Summary

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Recipes from the archives

Ag's Coconut Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Apple Cake

Apple Chutney

Canteen Biscuits

Carrot Marmalade

Cinnamon Sandwich


Feather Cake

Fruit Cake

Gingerbread Nuts


Grandmother's Christmas Cake

Kiss Biscuits


Madeira Cake

May's Victoria Sandwich

Mint Julep

Mr Evans' Rhubarb Chutney

Muddle Cake

Mustard (for profit by easy deception)

Oat Cakes

Orange Salad (from chef at Claridge’s London)

Oyster Patties


Potatoe Puffs

Raspberry Shortcake

Rolled Oat Biscuits

Salmon Souffle

School Biscuits

Snow Pudding

Soldiers Cake Tin

Spanish Cream

Victoria Cake