Introduction to Copyright – Part 2

Copyright law allows people to claim ownership over certain works. Copyright law is set out in the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth), which applies throughout Australia.

Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, styles, techniques, or information. Copyright does not protect names, titles or slogans.

Owners of copyright in works have the exclusive right to:

  • Reproduce the work
  • Distribute or communicate to the work
  • Perform the work in public
  • Assign or sell the work to others
  • License the work to others

If you are a small business that deals in artistic and literary works, you should consider that:

  • Copyright can only be assigned in writing
  • You should regard the copyright work as valuable property and deal with it as if it is an asset
  • It is possible to infringe on someone else’s copyright so long as you copied or paraphrased an important or distinctive part of someone else’s work. There is no such thing as a “20%” rule
  • You should have contracts with your employees or your contractors making it clear that you or your business owns the copyright and not your employees
  • You should consider whether you are selling articles or items containing copyright material which were imported without permission

If you have any questions in relation to your intellectual property, please contact us using the quick enquiry form on this blog.