Last updated 16 August 2022
The period of copyright protection depends on the type of subject matter. From 1 January 2019, there is a new way of calculating the term of copyright, which simplifies and harmonises the copyright terms of unpublished and published materials by introducing standard terms.
- For works (including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works) the standard term is 70 years after the death of the author of the work.
- For works where the author is unknown, the standard term is 70 years after the making of the work or 70 years after the work has first been made public (provided it is within 50 years of its making).
- For sound recordings and films, the standard term is 70 years after the making of the sound recording or film, or 70 years after the material has first been made public (provided it is within 50 years of its making).
- For Crown copyright material, (where the Commonwealth or a state or territory is the copyright owner), the standard term will be 50 years after the making of the material. Once copyright in a work has expired, it cannot be renewed and it is in the public domain. This means that it is open for anyone to use the material without infringing copyright.