Behind the scenes: Cooking for copyright

State Library of Queensland staff are Cooking for Copyright and today enjoyed the fruits of their “illegal labour” with a morning tea. Led by the Australian Library and Information Association, the Cooking for Copyright campaign is lobbying for copyright law reform for unpublished works.

Illegal Cupcakes - Cooking for Copyright

Illegal Cupcakes – Cooking for Copyright morning tea at SLQ. Image by SLQ staff member

In Australia, the copyright for published works, such as books, is limited to 70 years after the death of the creator. For unpublished works however, copyright lasts forever. Unpublished works include old diaries, letters, company records, theses and even recipes. The copyright laws as they currently stand mean that these valuable pieces of social history cannot ever be legally digitised.

Elves' Nutties - Cooking for Copyright morning tea at SLQ

Elve’s Nutties – Cooking for Copyright morning tea at SLQ. Image by SLQ staff member

SLQ would like the same copyright terms for unpublished works as applied to published works. Margaret Warren, Coordinator, Discovery Services says SLQ has lots of letters, diaries and even recipe books that we can’t digitise and make widely available to all Queenslanders.

“You can only see these items if you visit State Library at South Bank. These items are socially important. They tell us who we are, where we come from, and provide insights into our state’s history and our communities.”

An example of a recipe book in our collection affected by this law is the Thora Greenwood cookbook (1950-1980). Mrs Greenwood was the wife of Gordon Greenwood, the late Emeritus Professor at the University of Queensland’s History Department. Some recipes in the cookbook were used to prepare food for cocktail parties in the History Department.

Pikelet and Pavlova recipes from the Thora Greenwood cookbook. Image used with permission SLQ/FAIR.

Pikelet and Pavlova recipes from the Thora Greenwood cookbook. Image used with permission SLQ/FAIR.

Margaret says the Cooking for Copyright campaign is not asking for copyright to be removed, but to apply the same rules for published works to unpublished works so we can make these items more widely available.

Join in the fun and cook up a recipe from a selection on ALIA’s website or choose one of your old family favourites. Share your photos with friends online and post to the Cooking for Copyright facebook page with the hashtag #cookingforcopyright.

 

Hear Margaret discuss the campaign with 612 Brisbane’s Spencer Howson: http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2015/07/librarians-call-for-change-to-copyright-law-to-release-unpublished-recipes-etc.html?site=brisbane&program=612_breakfast

 

Thora Greenwood cookbook: http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/SLQ:SLQ_PCI_EBSCO:slq_alma21148639460002061

 

Cooking for copyright: https://fair.alia.org.au/cookingforcopyright

 

Cooking for Copyright on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cookingforcopyright