Cooking for Copyright – Wakey, wakey, rise and shine

All this week, To celebrate the success of the original Cooking for Copyright campaign, which was instrumental in getting an amendment to the Copyright Act which brings the duration of unpublished works into line with published material, we are republishing our blogs from 2015.  We hope you enjoy them again.  We’ll be blogging more details of the recent amendments to the Copyright Act soon.

We thought we’d start the day in style with breakfast. Katie found an old Youth Hostels of Australia cookbook which includes some interesting breakfast dishes including fritters, kedgeree and vegetable cakes.

YHA Hostel Cookbook – Breakfast Dishes – Fritter Batter and Kedgeree


YHA Hostel Cookbook – Breakfast Dishes – Vegetable Cakes

Notes included with the recipe book say that it was compiled for work parties at the Mount Buller Hostel and that each work party included 6 women and 20 men (hence the need for a bit more than corn flakes for breakfast.) The work party and presumably the recipes continued to be used until August 1952.

One of the final notes with the recipe book state that Eric Berry was a fussy eater and a salad was made for him instead.

We are having lots of fun sharing these recipes with you but it’s also important to realise that these recipes are still protected by copyright and that permission is required from the copyright owner of the material. But often identifying the copyright owner of older unpublished material can be really difficult. Is it YHA or the ladies who compiled and used the recipes? Again, the notes give us some clues. The recipe book was donated to the YHA Archives in July 1996 by Lois Longhaven (at least I’m assuming that’s her surname – it is hard to read some of the handwriting). It was compiled by Lois Longhaven (nee Nutting) after she took over ordering from Gwen Holmes. It’s not clear if Gwen also had a hand in compiling some of the recipes and might also be a copyright owner. Finally, there is a note that Lois’s cousin Betty Nutting also took over for a while. Is Betty also a potential copyright owner?

Tracking down Lois, Gwen and Betty or their families to find out what if they own copyright will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Copyright protected material where the copyright owners either can’t be identified or contact are often called orphaned works. Many libraries have hundreds of thousands of unpublished orphaned works in their collections that they would like to digitise and share with the researchers and library, but are unable to do so because copyright is perpetual in unpublished orphaned works. If we go ahead and make the material available without permission, we run the risk of the copyright owner coming forward and taking legal action. Currently, there is no defense or legal protection for using orphaned works.

The ALRC has recommended in their review of copyright that the Copyright Act should include provisions that allow the use of orphaned works under a proposed fair use exception, but also to limit what action a copyright owner can take if an orphaned work is used so long as there was a reasonably diligent search for the copyright owner first. Until then, we will just have to hope Lois, Gwen and Betty (or their assignees) don’t follow our blog too closely.  However, Lois, Gwen, Betty and your families, if you are following us – we would love to hear from you!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing breakfast with us.  In our next blog post, the YHA will be serving up lunch.

Download the recipe for Fritters and Kedgeree

Download the recipe for Vegetable cakes

Recipes and images courtesy of University of Melbourne Archives.