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Copyright: What is Copyright?

Copyright Help Guide

What is Copyright

Copyright is federal legislation that protects original works from being reproduced (copied) or communicated (sent by email, broadcast on TV etc) by someone other than the creator / copyright owner.

The Copyright Act 1968 and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 covers the copyright of all original works in Australia. Any amendments strengthen copyright owners’ rights and provide more certainty for users in the changing digital environment. Consumers can enjoy legitimate copyright material in some circumstances without breaching the law, copyright material can be used for socially useful purposes, such as use by educational institutions and people with disability. The laws also ensure that copyright owners can better protect their legitimate rights and securely make their material available online in new and different ways.

Copyright covers all original works, including the following materials:

  • Literary Works e.g. Journal articles, novels and screenplays
  • Artistic Works e.g. Drawings, photographs and maps
  • Cinematograph Films e.g. Video, Films and DVDs
  • Sound Recordings e.g. Music

Copyright protection is automatic in Australia, which means that a work does not need to be registered, or include a copyright notice on it, in order for it to be proctected by copyright.

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