The Australia Council for the Arts has released a fully revised second edition of its protocol guides to help Australians better understand the use of Indigenous cultural material.
The five guides cover protocols for producing Indigenous Australian media arts, music performing arts, visual arts and writing. They were written for the Australia Council by eminent Indigenous intellectual property lawyers Terri Janke and Robynne Quiggin.
Dr Chris Sarra, chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board said the guides should be compulsory reading for anyone working in the arts, and an automatic first point of reference for Australians working alongside Indigenous culture.
‘Real reconciliation involves understanding and respect; understanding the protocols in these guides will help Australians do the right thing when working alongside Indigenous culture,’ Dr Sarra said.
‘The guides use real-life case studies from the arts to help Australians avoid some of the common pitfalls that can cause distress to Indigenous people – from sampling music without permission to altering Indigenous creation stories.’
The guides’ editor Terri Janke said the guides were also created to help Indigenous artists know their rights and get a better financial return for their work.
‘Indigenous arts are worth more than $500 million dollars to the Australian economy, but there are still some gaps in the general understanding of how cultural practices and Australian copyright law interact,’ Ms Janke said.
‘A lot of Indigenous culture is oral and performance based. It’s handed down from generation to generation and then communally owned. Acknowledging cultural sources, and respecting the integrity of these important works isn’t enshrined in copyright laws. These guides help show artists how they can best protect their work and their culture.’
The five guides are available online from the Australia Council’s website or in hard copy by phoning (02) 9215 9000.
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Last modified: May 5, 2008 10:32 PM