Australia: government pays out $ 20 million for Aboriginal flag

(ANSA) – ROME, JANUARY 25 – Twenty million Australian dollars, equal to just over 12 million euros: this is the price that the Canberra government will have to pay to acquire the copyright of the Aboriginal flag created by the native designer Harold Thomas in 1971. The deal, which comes 24 hours before Australia Day, includes the revocation of trade licenses, meaning the flag now “belongs to everyone,” says Ken Wyatt, the federal minister for Indigenous Australians, reports the BBC online.

In fact, the Aboriginal flag can now be reproduced on clothing and merchandise without fear of legal threats. “In reaching this agreement to resolve copyright issues, all Australians are free to display and use the flag to celebrate indigenous culture,” Wyatt said. “Now that the Commonwealth owns the copyright, it belongs to everyone and nobody can take it away,” he added. The copyright purchase decision followed pressure from Aboriginal groups and disputes in sports such as the Australian Football League (AFL), which began refusing to pay tenants to display the flag.

The Aboriginal flag, designed by Thomas, was first flown at a land rights rally in Adelaide in July 1971. It has been an important symbol for indigenous Australians for decades and is regularly waved alongside the Australian national flag in official and ceremonial dress. But unlike the national flag, to which the Commonwealth holds the rights, the copyright of the Aboriginal flag was held by Thomas himself, who defended himself by claiming that he charged the copyright to prevent imitations made abroad.

“In the future, the flag will remain, not as a symbol of struggle, but as a symbol of pride and unity,” he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning. (HANDLE).


Source From: Ansa

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