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Thread: Port Phillip Herald query.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Port Phillip Herald query.

    I have been a member of Trove for many years but I think this is the first time I've used the forum. I'm here now because I have a question that has bothered me for a long time.

    As most of you probably know the early Victorian newspaper titled "The Port Phillip Herald" was digitised and for several years has been available online. The sad thing though, is the rights to this historic Australian newspaper are owned by an American company and the newspaper can only be accessed after paying a substantial subscription fee on the following. website

    My question is - How could this state of affairs ever have occurred? How could the rights to such an wonderful source of historical information regarding our country's early development, end up in Foreign hands?

    I believe our government or someone in authority should begin a campaign to buy back our Port Phillip Herald and keep it here in it's rightful place at Trove where it would be accessible to all Australians.

  2. #2
    I don't believe that the US company can own the rights to that newspaper, as it would be out of copyright.

    Whether they may own the rights to the scan of the newspaper is another matter.
    Is a scan of an out-of-copyright work a new work itself (and thus subject to copyright) or is it free of copyright?
    I vaguely remember a US case where the scan was deemed to be free of copyright.
    I've no idea if that situation has been covered in Australia, either by statute or a court decision.

    All that needs to be done is for the NLA, or one of the state libraries (or any other interested party), to digitally scan the issues of the newspaper and have them added to Trove.
    Getting the money to pay for that work is another thing entirely.

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