What You Need to Know About Copyright

Defining copyright can be complicated, as there are different types of copyright and dozens of laws, rules, and exceptions that complicate the issue further. In fact, it’s often necessary to go to an intellectual property lawyer to get a clear picture of what you can and cannot do with your work. If you want to learn some of the copyright basics, read on!

Copyright Explained

Copyright, as suggested by the name, is the right to copy. The right to copy means that you own copyright of your original work, such as a painting or song. Anyone who copies your work without your permission infringes on your copyright. Therefore, if someone reproduces or distributes your work, you can take them to court for injunctions to stop them and receive payment for damages. Trade marks and intellectual property rights are different to copyright because they grant rights over certain terms and names rather than works themselves. You can find more information on trade marks and intellectual property in our other blog posts.

However, there are copyright exceptions in some circumstances, such as fair use. Fair use permits the use of work without the copyright owner’s permission or crown copyright. In some cases, the design overlap provisions that require registration of designs for articles mean that copyright cannot be enforced. At Hazan Hollander, we can advise you on copyright protection, infringement, enforcement, and defence.

Who Needs Copyright Protection?

In Australia, if you want to claim ownership of a registered design or even just some aspect of a design, you need copyright protection. Intellectual property laws often also cover intellectual creations such as software, art, and music. Every creative piece of work has two essential components for it being protected by copyright law. First, it must be original; it can’t have been created by someone else first, and it must have an element of creativity or thought put into its creation. Second, there must be some tangible medium, a publication of the work, on which your work is recorded. This could be on a piece of paper or computer file.

How do I Protect my Copyright?

As a content creator, you have the right to defend your work from being used by others. Many don’t realise that copyright law protects more than just art and music. In Australia, copyright applies equally to written materials, paintings, photographs, and other creative content. The law protects duplication or modification of original works without proper authorisation. For expert assistance in protecting your content, please get in touch with one of our trade mark and intellectual property lawyers today. You can call us in Melbourne on (03) 8538 1676, in Sydney on (02) 9233 4266, or submit an enquiry below:

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