Copyright gives intellectual property rights to content creators. The Copyright Act governs intellectual property rights in Australia, this act explains how copyright words and how intellectual property can be used. In Australia there is no need to register for copyright. A work is protected as soon as it is in material form, like a written story or a recorded song.
You will generally need permission to use copyright material depending on how it is used. For example, copyrighted material may need permission before it can be uploaded to a website or a copy made, material used for study or research purposes may also have specific requirements before it can be used. For more information on what is protected under copyright please see the information sheet An Introduction to Copyright in Australia.
What material is copyrighted?
There are many different types of material that can be protected under the Copyright Act. For example:
- Artistic works - paintings, memes, cartoons, craft and photographs.
- Broadcasts - TV and radio.
- Dramatic works - dance and plays.
- Moving images - movies.
- Musical works - scores.
- Sound recordings - streaming music and CDs.
- Written and published material - books, newspapers, websites, essays, poems and letters.
For a full list of material see An Introduction to Copyright in Australia.
How long does copyright last?
The duration of copyright can be varied on the different types of material and the law in effect at the time of creation. Generally, copyright applies to most intellectual property for the life of the creator plus 70 years. For further information on the duration of copyrights, including for different material see the information sheet from the Australian Copyright Council on the Duration of Copyright.