July 15, 2015 | Moira McKenzie

‘Cooking for Copyright’ is the alliterated campaign raising support for copyright reform in Australia.

The campaign was cooked up by Freedom of Access to Information and Resources (FAIR), and focuses on releasing unpublished works from indefinite copyright protection.

For published works, the duration of copyright is 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was published. But until publication occurs, copyright is indefinite.

Indefinite copyright protection for unpublished works means that old diaries, manuscripts, company records and even recipes cannot legally be released by libraries, museums or universities. For example, the National Library of Australia has two million unpublished works which cannot be released or shared including handwritten letters from Jane Austen, Captain Cook and Banjo Paterson.  FAIR argues that the current copyright law is effectively depriving institutions and the general public of ‘valuable pieces of social history’.

FAIR has found and published more than 35 handwritten recipes from museum and library archives, which under the current law, are not allowed to be shared.  On 31st July 2015, copyright enthusiasts are encouraged to cook one of these recipes, take a photo and share it on social media using the hashtag #cookingforcopyright.

For more information see here.

Update! For a full report on the event click here.