Pearl Narang is a final year law student of B.B.A.LL.B (Hons.) at Chandigarh University, Mohali and is currently interning as a Trainee in Business World Legal Community. She is also pursuing a diploma in Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about both law and writing.
Compulsorily acquiring copyright would perpetuate the dispossession and injustice
A Senate inquiry into the claim over the copyright to the Aboriginal flag has recommended that the Commonwealth should not compulsorily acquire the copyright for the Aboriginal flag. The Select Committee opined that doing so would perpetuate the dispossession and injustice endured by Aboriginal people and establish “a dangerous precedent”.
The minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, has said his agency is currently in “quiet discussions” with parties involved, including Thomas (the designer), about ways to resolve the issue but he has emphasized that it is “extremely complicated”.
The Committee supported the negotiations already underway
The Committee in its recommendations stated that the Commonwealth should use the negotiations already underway with the flag's current copyright holder to find a model for its future use. It also added that a balance must be struck between the rights and value of the flag to the copyright holder and licensees, and the Aboriginal flag’s “deep and intrinsic significance to Aboriginal people and their lives”.
“At present, the extent to which the distress and anguish voiced by many Aboriginal people about the flag, its use and its future are being weighed in negotiations is opaque.”
The committee made the two recommendations in its final report, after receiving 74 submissions and six days of public hearings in September.
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