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A Nation's Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968


Transfer of functions

The transfer of a number of functions, including that of copyright registration, from colonial administrations to the Commonwealth was generally gradual, with some State and Commonwealth agencies having overlapping responsibilities for specific functions. An idea of the complexity of the copyright function and its transfer to the Commonwealth can be seen in Table 1, which lists some of the agencies, both colonial and Commonwealth, responsible for copyright from the middle of the nineteenth century until late in the twentieth century.

Responsibility for copyright function 

Colonial & Commonwealth Agency


Victoria
  • 1 Mar 1870–1 Jan 1907 Vic, Registrar of Copyrights (CA 1400)
  • Jan 1873–1904 Vic, Patent Office (CA 5305)

Between 1907–33 Victorian copyright functions were carried out by a central office:

  • 1 Jan 1907 –1 Jan 1913 Copyright Office [I] (CA 555 [4])
  • 1 Jan 1913–6 Nov 1930 Copyright Office [II] (CA 556)
  • 6 Nov 1930–29 Jun 1933 Copyright Office [III] (CA 555 [5])
  • 29 Jun 1933–1 May 1969 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, Vic (CA 902)
New South Wales
  • 1 Jul 1879–1 Jan 1907 NSW, Registrar of Copyright (CA 1275)
  • 1 Jan 1907–1 May 1969 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, NSW (CA 898)
Queensland
  • 1887–1 Jan 1907 Qld, Patent Office (CA 1246)
  • 1 Jan 1907–1 May 1969 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, Qld (CA 899)
South Australia
  • Jan 1877–1 Jan 1907 SA, Patent, Copyrights and Trade Marks Offices (CA 6825)
  • 1 Jan 1907–1 May 1969 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, SA (CA 900)
Western Australia
  • 1889–1 Jan 1907 WA, Patent Office (CA 1257)
  • 1 Jan 1907–1 May 1969 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Sub-Office, WA (CA 903)

Commonwealth period central level


Department of State level
  • 1 Jan 1901–1 Apr 1911 Department of Trade and Customs (CA 10)
  • 1 Apr 1911–19 Dec 1972 Attorney-General's Department (CA 5)
Agency level
  • 1 Jan 1907–1 Jan 1913 Copyright Office [I] (CA 555 [4])
  • 1 Jan 1913–6 Nov 1930 Copyright Office [II] (CA 556)
  • 6 Nov 1930–1 May 1969 Copyright Office [III] (CA 555 [5])

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Chapter 3
Commonwealth Copyright