General Copyright Information


All University staff must adhere to statutory compliance obligations relating with copyright Law. Australian Copyright Law is contained in the Copyright Act 1968. The Act is legislation passed by the Australian Parliament to protect the rights of authors and creators.

material Protected

Protection begins as soon as soon as the original work is put into material form or published. Copyright protection can last 70 years from the author's death or from the year of first publication after the author's death.  In addition to these rights, individual creators have 'Moral Rights' to ensure the attribution of their work when reproduced, published, exhibited in public, communicated or adapted is safe guarded and not to be used in a derogatory way that could affect the creator's standing or reputation,

These include:

  • Literary works (e.g. novels, poems, essays, books, journals, newspapers).
  • Dramatic works (e.g. plays and screenplays etc).
  • Musical works (e.g. sound recordings).
  • Artistic works (e.g. paintings, sculpture, cartoons, photographs, illustrations etc).
  • Audio-visual material (e.g. sound recordings; films - including animations and moving images; radio and television broadcasts).

The legislation also grants exclusive rights held by copyright owners in literary, dramatic and musical works to:

  • reproduce/copy a work
  • publish
  • perform in public
  • communicate the work to the public via electronic means - including making it available online or sending via email.

This means that permission needs to be obtained from the owner of copyright.

In a university context, the most relevant scenarios are:

  • the reproduction right (copying, printing, scanning, downloading) and
  • the communication right (placing online or sending via email)