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Our Languages Protocols

Protocols – Copyright – Intellectual Property Rights

These protocols are intended to guide visitors to the Our Languages website in appropriate ways to:-

Respect Indigenous Cultures on the Our Languages website;

  • Use, refer to and Deal with the Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property on the Our Languages website.

By entering this Website you agree to abide by the following principles and guidelines:-

Recognition of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights

It is acknowledged that existing laws for protection and recognition of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property are inadequate to protect the cultural and economic interests of Indigenous peoples.

The Right of Indigenous peoples to transmit and share their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property must be recognised in a national law.

Identification as Owners

The original people of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands have the right to be recognised as the owners and guardians of their cultural and intellectual property.

Importance of Culture

Our cultures are an integral part of our identity and society. It is the basis for:-

  • Our Being.
  • Our Future.
  • The continued expression of our cultures through our children.


The recognition and respect for Indigenous peoples’ evolving customs, rules and practices for the transmission of their heritage to future generations is essential to Indigenous peoples ways of life.


  • For the ongoing cultural value of the information being presented on the website.
  • By seeking approval from copyright owners, custodians and traditional owners for use, reproduction of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property.

No Unauthorised Commercial Use of Information

There is to be no unauthorised commercial use of the information contained herein. Information should not be used in cultural heritage site tours, cultural activities, bush tucker, storytelling etc without observing these Protocols.

Representation and Display

We reserve the rights to interpret our Cultures, and to limit information contained on this site and to control access and subsequent use of this material.

Issues of representation and display shall be widely consulted.

Continuing Obligation

The continuing obligation of Indigenous peoples to maintain their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property is acknowledged, recognized and respected.


Acknowledgement of source has two principles:-

  • Acknowledgement to individual creator/artist/author
  • acknowledgement to group.

Protection of Sensitive Material

The right of Indigenous people to protect sensitive material is recognised and there shall be no display of culturally or personally sensitive information without wide consultation with the relevant Indigenous persons and groups.

If such material is included, it shall be treated in a dignified manner.

Warnings should preclude transmission of any potentially sensitive material.


The prior informed consent of the Indigenous persons and groups must be obtained prior to any recording, use or display of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property.

Consent should be obtained from:-

  • Copyright owners
  • Group – discuss with elders – persons in authority


No Reproduction of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property is allowed with prior negotiation and prior informed consent.

  • Use and referral is allowed for the purposes of research or study so long as full and proper attribution is given to the author, artist and group. However, the commercial use by educational institutions, commercial businesses, and all others is not authorised without prior consent and negotiation of rights.


For use of materials on the website:-

  • Consult authors and other rightsholders (next of kin) for approval on use and copyright on all commercial uses.

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