Statement on copyright and intellectual property

To promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy and democracy.


The copyright and intellectual property system must ensure a fair and equitable balance between creators, owners and users, and the needs of the public.


Australian copyright and intellectual property policy must protect the interest of the public, education, research and library communities to promote the advancement and sharing of knowledge, innovation and creativity.

ALIA supports balanced copyright and intellectual property law that promotes the advancement of society as a whole by giving strong and effective protection for the interests of rightsholders as well as reasonable access in order to encourage creativity, innovation, research, education and learning.

ALIA supports the effective enforcement of copyright and recognises that libraries have a crucial role to play in managing and facilitating access to the increasing number of local and remote electronic information resources.

Librarians and information professionals promote respect for copyright and intellectual property and actively defend copyright works against piracy, unfair use and unauthorised exploitation, in both the print and the digital environment.

Copyright and intellectual property protection should encourage not inhibit, use and creativity. Copyright and intellectual property law should not give rightsholders the power to use technological or contractual measures to override the exceptions to copyright and distort the balance set in international and domestic copyright legislation.

Copyright and intellectual property legislation should render invalid any terms of a licence that restricts or overrides exceptions embodied in copyright law.

Australia is party to a number of international treaties including the Berne Convention and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). ALIA supports these treaties and the exceptions to copyright and related rights, allowed in the Berne Convention and endorsed by the WIPO treaties.

ALIA recognises moral rights and the unassignable personal rights of a creator of a work as agreed to in the Berne Convention.

ALIA recognises and respects the communal ownership of Indigenous cultural property.

Although, libraries and information services as intermediaries have an important role to play in ensuring compliance with copyright law, liability should ultimately rest with the infringer.

A healthy and vibrant public domain should be the ultimate goal of copyright and intellectual property law. All exclusive rights granted should have a clear end date, ensuring that content eventually enters the pool of public knowledge, available to all for the advancement of society.

Adopted 2001. Amended 2017.