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Glossary | Language, Copyright, Material, Indigenous, Term, Cultural, Materials, Resources | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
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An agreement is a legally binding bargain or contract between 2 or more people or organisations. With some exceptions, it can be written or oral or both. In these Protocols, though, agreement means a formal contract written or checked by a lawyer, and this term, and the term 'model agreement' is used instead of 'contract'


Consultants are people who work with and/or are employed formally or informally by Indigenous communities to develop language materials. Consultants may include principals and school staff, academic linguists, community-based linguists, ICT specialists, editors and publishers.


Copyright is a legal regime that gives a person or organisation exclusive rights to copy and circulate particular materials resulting from intellectual activity. Only the owner of these rights can use them and allow others to use them. Particular categories of work are protected, and all must exist in material form. Mere ideas are not protected.
Copyright rights arise as soon as qualifying work is created; there is no system of registration in Australia. Except in the case of some unpublished works, copyright does not last forever. For example, for materials like published dictionaries, copyright lasts for the life of the person who created it, plus 50 years after that person passes away.
Language materials are generally protected by copyright. If someone uses copyright material without the copyright owner's permission, they are said to have 'infringed' copyright. Copyright owners can bring court action against these people, and sometimes the person also commits a criminal offence.

  Copyright Act 1968 (Cth This is a piece of Federal legislation that, with court decisions about this legislation and its predecessors, contains current Australian copyright law.
  ICT specialists Information and Communication Technology specialists are people who have qualifications and/skills in creating language resources using computers, eg CD ROMs, websites
  Intellectual Property Copyright is only one of a number of laws that protect the products of intellectual effort in a number of fields, such as the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. Other laws (some of which are contained in legislation, and some in court decisions) include those protecting trade marks, designs, patents and circuit layouts. This term is used to refer to these laws together.
  Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP)

As defined by Terri Janke (1998, p11) ICIP consists of the intangible and tangible aspects of the whole body of cultural practices, resources and knowledge systems that have been developed, nurtured and refined (and continue to be developed, nurtured and refined) by Indigenous people and passed on by Indigenous people as part of expressing their cultural identity, including:

  • Literary, performing and artistic works (including music, dance, song, ceremonies, symbols and designs, narratives and poetry)
  • Languages
  • Scientific, agricultural, technical and ecological knowledge   (including cultigens, medicines and sustainable use of flora and fauna)
  • Spiritual knowledge
  • All items of movable cultural property, including burial artifacts
  • Indigenous ancestral remains
  • Indigenous human genetic material (including DNA and tissues)
  • Cultural environment resources (including minerals and species)
  language analysis/description An analysis or description of a language is made up of texts (eg
dictionaries and grammar books) which are based on the written or oral recordings of language informants. These texts explain the structure, features and patterns of a language.
  language documentation Documentation of a language is made up of written and oral recordings of language informants. These original recordings are then often used as the basis for creating other language materials, such as dictionaries, grammar books and resources for language teaching and learning.
  language informants Language informants are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who provide language data in written or oral form when working with eg linguists, applied linguists, teachers.
  language revitalisation In this document the term language revitalisation is used to cover a range of types of language projects, including language renewal, language maintenance, language revival, language reclamation.
  perpetuity/in perpetuity This term means forever.
  public domain When copyright in copyright protected material expires, the material becomes freely available for anyone to copy and use. The material is then said to have entered the 'public domain'.
  publish Under Australian copyright law, to publish something means to make whole copies of it for supply to the public. It doesn't matter whether the copies are for sale or free. The publication can be in any form, including printed (such as books and magazines) or electronic (such as web pages and CD-ROMs).