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What is Copyright?

Copyright means the exclusive rights a creator (or "author") of works has in those works if they can legally be protected by copyright at law. For example, subject to some minor exceptions, the owner of copyright in a book, song or web page will have the exclusive right to make copies of that book, song or web page.

Basically, copyright does not protect ideas, but protects the expression of ideas (if you want to protect an idea you have not published, you might seek a Patent instead).

In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 protects literary, artistic and musical works and a number of other types of works - basically, almost anything that can be expressed in some material form is capable of protection by copyright. For example, copyright will subsist in most books, manuals, forms, business documents, screen layouts, website content, computer software, audio files and other recordings, databases, logos, plans, maps, music, lyrics, films, live performances, broadcasts / webcasts / podcasts, and improvements upon or copies of any of the above!!

Copyright is automatic upon the creation of a work capable of protection under the Act and so no registration is required - the creator is protected straight away by being given immediate exclusive rights and remedies against those who infringe those rights.

Because there are so many types of things that are protected by copyright, it is vitally important that you be sure of your copyright position before dealing with, creating or publishing any material that might be protected by copyright.

If there are any registered or registrable Designs that are relevant to the copyrights or vice-versa, there are certain rules which apply to determine what your rights and obligations are.

How Can We Help?

We can help you discover what your rights are in relation to documents, materials, or any works (in any form) you wish to deal with and can advise you as to what rights you have in relation to any works you create. We can also enforce the rights you have against any parties breaching your copyrights or defend you if other parties are pursuing you for the same thing.

We can also advise you on how best to protect the copyrights you have, now and in the future, and how best to avoid liability to any other party for copyright (or design) breach.