Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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COPYRIGHT ACT 1968 - SECT 239

Assignments and licences

             (1)  Subject to this section, where copyright subsists in a work by virtue of this Act, any document that was made, or event that occurred, before the commencement of this Act, being a document or event that had any operation affecting the ownership of, or creating, transferring or terminating an interest, right or licence in respect of, copyright in the work under the Copyright Act, 1911 or would have had such an operation if that Act had continued in force, has the like operation in relation to the copyright in the work under this Act.

             (2)  If the operation of a document to which the last preceding subsection applies was or would have been limited to a period specified in the document, the document does not have any operation in relation to the copyright under this Act, except in so far as that period extends after the commencement of this Act.

             (3)  For the purposes of the operation of a document in accordance with this section:

                     (a)  expressions used in the document have the same respective meanings as they had immediately before the commencement of this Act, whether or not those expressions have different meanings for the purposes of this Act; and

                     (b)  subsection 197(1) does not apply.

             (4)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), where the author of a work that was made before the commencement of this Act was the first owner of the copyright in the work:

                     (a)  any assignment of the copyright, or any grant of an interest in the copyright, made by the author (otherwise than by will) after the commencement of the Copyright Act, 1911 and before the commencement of this Act, being an assignment or grant that has effect in relation to copyright in the work under this Act by virtue of subsection (1), does not operate to vest in the assignee or grantee any rights with respect to the copyright in the work after the expiration of 25 years after the date of the death of the author;

                     (b)  on the death of the author, the reversionary interest in the copyright expectant on the termination of that period devolves, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, on his or her legal personal representative as part of his or her estate; and

                     (c)  any agreement entered into by the author as to the disposition of that reversionary interest is of no force or effect;

but nothing in this subsection shall be taken to apply to the assignment of the copyright in a collective work or a licence to publish a work or a part of a work as part of a collective work.

             (5)  In the last preceding subsection, expressions that are defined by section 204 have the meanings respectively given to those expressions by that section and do not have the meanings, if any, respectively given to those expressions by Part II.

             (6)  The preceding subsections of this section apply in relation to copyright under this Act in a sound recording or in a cinematograph film in like manner as they apply in relation to copyright in a work but a reference in those subsections to the copyright under the Copyright Act, 1911 shall:

                     (a)  in the application of those subsections in relation to a sound recording--be read as a reference to the copyright under that Act in records embodying the recording; and

                     (b)  in the application of those subsections in relation to a cinematograph film--be read as a reference to any copyright under that Act in the film (in so far as it constituted a dramatic work for the purposes of that Act) or in photographs forming part of the film.



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