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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Australian government buys rights to Aboriginal flag for $14 million

Australia’s government has bought the copyright to the Aboriginal flag, making it freely available for public use and ending a longstanding battle over the design.

In a deal worth more than 20 million Australian dollars ($14 million), Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government secured the rights from Indigenous artist Harold Thomas, who created the flag over 50 years ago.

The agreement means the flag can now be reproduced on clothing, merchandise, sports jerseys or artworks — without permission and free of charge. In a statement, Morrison said the flag had been “freed,” adding that his administration had “sought to protect the integrity of the Aboriginal Flag, in line with Harold Thomas’ wishes.”

The red, black and yellow design has been recognized as an official flag of Australia since 1995. But it became the subject of a commercial dispute when a company that licensed the image…

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