Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright in non-US countries

IMPORTANT NOTE - The Copyright Policy described below applies to books published outside the United States! For information on copyright policies for books published in the United States, see Page 1.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE - I am not a lawyer. The information below is my interpretation of copyright laws after reading the laws and summaries available online. Please follow the links to the actual copyright policy pages in order to get the most accurate reading of the law. Not all countries represented on the BWO pages are listed here.


Copyright Concerns - International Institute (FamilySearch Wiki)


Source document: "Australian Copyright Council" - see in particular the section "Research or Study"

Australian copyright laws state that all published works are protected by copyright for the length of the copyright holder's life, plus 50 years. My reading of their fair-use provisions (as stated under their "infringement" regulations) is that they have a more narrow view of fair-use. Unlike US or Canadian laws, Australia extends copyright protection to reprints of works in the public domain - these are "topographical" copyrights, and last for 25 years following publication of the reprint.


Source document: "Canadian Intellectual Property Office - A Guide to Copyright"

Canadian copyright laws state that all published works are protected by copyright for the length of the copyright holder's life, plus 70 years (starting the first day of the calendar year following the author's death). So, if a work was published in 1940, and the author died in 1975, then the copyright would expire on Dec. 31, 2045. [This is a change in the law as of 30 Dec 2022; previously, the term was 50 years following the author's death.] Works that entered public domain before the new law took effect remain in the public domain. The University of British Columbia has a helpful guide for determining when works enter the public domain. For all other works, the Canadian Fair Use provision is essentially identical to the American policy, so standard BWO policy on fair use (as stated on Page 1) still apply.


Source documents: "An Indtroduction to Copyright in New Zealand"

New Zealand Copyright Council - and the section Copyright Licencing Ltd .

Coyright in New Zealand is for 50 years after death of author as in Australia & Canada. (With thanks to John Wilson for the websites and information).


Source documents: "The UK Intellectual Property Office - About Copyright"

Copyright - the National Archives. While this information is specific to materials held at the National Archives, it includes more general information on UK copyright and crown copyright laws.

Until 2000, all works published in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) shared the Canadian policy. However, in 2000, the United Kingdom aligned its copyright policy to that of the European Economic Community (European Union). Now, all works published in the UK before or after 2000 are protected by copyright for the life of the copyright holder, plus 70 years. The fair-use provision is similar to Canadian and US policies, so follow BWO policies here. [Even though Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, its policies are the same due to its membership in the EU.]