What is Copyright?
Copyright is a bundle of legal rights that protect the creative expression in an original work.
In Australia, copyright is legislated under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and provides protection for:
- “Works”, which include literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works and
- “Subject matter other than Works”, which cover sound recordings, films, video recordings and broadcasts.
A fundamental right of copyright is the exclusive right of the copyright holder to control the reproduction of the copyright work. Copyright infringement can occur where a person reproduces a copyright work without the permission of the copyright holder.
How long does copyright last?
Under Australian law, the length of copyright protection depends on the type of work. For most works, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author, plus 70 years.
Once copyright expires, the work enters the “Public Domain”. This means the work can be used freely without copyright restrictions.
Do I have to register copyright?
Australia does not have a formal registration requirement, but registration systems do exist in other territories (such as the United States).
Many copyright holders choose to register their works with a Collection Society. Collection societies are independent companies that represent content producers and provide administration, licensing and royalty collections for use of their work.
Xuveo Legal provides advice and assistance in copyright protection.
If you are a content producer, we can help you identify your copyright and suggest strategies to protect it against infringement.
If you are a content consumer, we can assist with licensing agreements and advice on alleged infringement.
We can assist with:
- copyright assignment agreements
- copyright enforcement and protection strategies
- advice on corporate structures and intellectual property asset protection
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