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New copyright laws to protect Aboriginal art

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 19 May 2003


The Federal Government will introduce new copyright laws to protect the creative works of Aboriginal communities.

Federal Arts Minister Richard Alston says the legislation, to be introduced in Parliament later this year, will aim to stop unauthorised and derogatory treatment of Aboriginal art work and film. Senator Alston announced the proposed laws at the launch of an Aboriginal art web site in Darwin.

He says based on agreements with artists, Aboriginal communities would also have communal moral rights to a work or film.

"Where you have got an artist working in a community, often inheriting a story line, which then reflects in his work, he is doing this often as a custodian for the community, so they are a very special arrangements that operate in Aboriginal communities that are now going to be protected for the first time."


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