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Australian courts decide “No Copyright in Newspaper Headlines”

It is interesting to read through the notes on this recent decision by the Federal Court of Australia. It’s worth reading the entire post on Mallesons’ site or even the judgement here on AUSTLII.

It looks like the traditional news media are losing ground on their ambit claims to own everything ;)

As Mallesons so neatly summarise it:

“The Federal Court of Australia today decided that copyright did not subsist in newspaper headlines. See Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v. Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd [2010] FCA 984. This is the first time anywhere in the world that a common law court has fully considered and decided this issue.”


“Businesses that abstract and summarise the works of others will be able to continue to use the title or headline of the original source when citing the original source.”

via No Copyright in Newspaper Headlines – 7 September 2010.

1 thought on “Australian courts decide “No Copyright in Newspaper Headlines””

  1. Just slightly troubled as much as being amused by the fact that most news articles are re-hashed stories and consider the same regarding headlines. My perception on the matter, as simple as it is, appeals to common sense that there should be no copyright rules to apply on something that is second hand in nature. Am I missing the point? Seems a very costly issue to hash out in the courts but glad the issue has been sorted for now.

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