The Copyright Act 1968 grants automatic rights to the creators and owners of literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works and other subject matter such as films and recordings.
Indigenous people who are the copyright owners of their works have the exclusive right to prohibit or do certain acts such as publish, reproduce, communicate and adapt their work. Similarly, where Indigenous people are the owners of copyright in films or sound recordings, they can prevent or permit reproduction of the film and sound recording. Being the holders of these rights allows them to control their own individual creative works and outputs.
Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) refers to all the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture. Sometimes the words “Cultural Heritage” are used to mean the same thing. The idea of ICIP is based on the principle of self-determination.