The more things change the More they Stay the Same
This article examines the new Australian moral rights legislation. It looks at how the moral rights regime may (or may not) assist Indigenous creators, and considers why moral rights have been perceived as holding an integral place in providing adequate legal protection for Indigenous art in Australia. The article first outlines the history of moral rights, tracing their origins in French law, before examining Australian debates leading up to the enactment of moral rights as an amendment to the Copyright Act in late 2000. The two new moral rights - the right of integrity and the right of attribution - are discussed. The article argues that the new moral rights have limited value for Indigenous creators because they are individual rather than communal rights, and consequently false attribution or identity claims are not actionable. To make up for the deficiencies of the moral rights regime, the article concludes by proposing the development of sui generis legislation that accommodates Indigenous intellectual property laws and the concept of communal ownership and custodianship of art, stories and other knowledge concerning the management of the land.
Griffith Law Review