Cooking for Copyright

July 2015 

On Friday 31 July we asked you to Cook for Copyright to support copyright law reform.

FAIR followers right across Australia took up the challenge of cooking for copyright, helping to raise awareness of our muddled copyright law and supporting our lobbying for immediate reform.

We had incredible support from National and State Libraries Australasia, archive, museum and historical society colleagues, who provided dozens of recipes, ranging from perfect morning tea fodder through to weird medicinal products.

We posted 35 handwritten recipes to the FAIR website – effectively contravening the current copyright law – and we asked Australians to cook one of these recipes – or choose an old favourite – and to post a photo to facebook or tweet with the #cookingforcopyright hashtag.

Within two weeks of launch we had a strong presence on social media, more than 500 people actively sharing recipes and ideas, and the promise of events in libraries up and down the country.
To give you a flavour of all the activity on 31 July, there were:
  • 12,666 hits on the webpage
  • more than 1,000 participants in more than 100 events
  • trended at #1 on Twitter - 1,500 tweets, 9,973,809 Twitter impressions
  • radio and TV interviews reaching an audience of 22,783,000 across Australia

You can see the whole picture here:


Cooking for Copyright - Full report 

Cooking for Copyright - Summary 


What do we want? 

Copyright law in Australia is a muddle.  The task of untangling the regime currently lies with Senator George Brandis, the Attorney-General.

Our campaign raised awareness of one particular issue – perpetual copyright for unpublished works. While copyright is limited to 70 years after the death of the creator for published works, for unpublished works copyright lasts forever. 

Unpublished works include old diaries, letters, company records, theses – even recipes. The copyright rules as they currently stand mean that these manuscripts, are locked away – to no one’s benefit. We’d like the same copyright terms for unpublished works as for published works.

We have been lobbying in Canberra for this change, showing many MPs the results of the campaign.

We're hoping the Australian Government will respond with changes to copyright law that unlocks millions of items, putting them in the public domain.

Media Coverage


Recipes from the archives

Ag's Coconut Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Apple Cake

Apple Chutney

Canteen Biscuits

Carrot Marmalade

Cinnamon Sandwich


Feather Cake

Fruit Cake

Gingerbread Nuts


Grandmother's Christmas Cake

Kiss Biscuits


Madeira Cake

May's Victoria Sandwich

Mint Julep

Mr Evans' Rhubarb Chutney

Muddle Cake

Mustard (for profit by easy deception)

Oat Cakes

Orange Salad (from chef at Claridge’s London)

Oyster Patties


Potatoe Puffs

Raspberry Shortcake

Rolled Oat Biscuits

Salmon Souffle

School Biscuits

Snow Pudding

Soldiers Cake Tin

Spanish Cream

Victoria Cake