Washington International Law Journal


Jake Phillips


Australian indigenous communities are vulnerable to communal harm inflicted by the unauthorized, derogatory use of their works of folklore. Such works are often considered sacred to indigenous communities and are granted significant protection under customary law. However, under many circumstances, the 1968 Copyright Act, the Australian law governing authored works, fails to protect works of indigenous folklore. While an amendment to the Copyright Act appears a likely next step in Australia’s efforts to recognize a community’s interest in communal works of folklore, Australia’s Heritage Protection Act represents a more appropriate and efficient vehicle for addressing unique communal interests in these cultural works.

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