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Intellectual Property Copyright

What is copyright in Australia, how is it protected and when does infringement occur?

Intellectual property is a bundle of rights that come into existence through the innovative use of our mind and knowledge.  Intellectual property rights protect and benefit the people who create them, own them, or who acquire the right to use them in another way.

Copyright is one form intellectual property.  It does not exist in ideas alone, but rather the detailed and original expression of ideas in a material form.  These expressions are called “works” under Copyright law.  

The Copyright Act protects different kinds of works, with the most common being literary, dramatic, visual and artistic works.  Films, television broadcasts and sound recordings are also protected.

If Copyright exists, no registration is needed.  The authors or owners of copyright automatically receive certain exclusive rights which expire 70 years from the date the author dies.  This includes the right to exclude others from reproducing, publishing, performing or adapting the original work.

While copyright automatically receives protection upon creation, there is a difference between creating copyright and proving its existence when facing infringement allegations.  This is why the copyright symbol often appears on certain works in conjunction with the author’s name, and the date of creation.

Infringement arises when a later work is objectively similar to an earlier work and these similarities are found to occur through a causal connection – namely, an inference of copying.

If you would like more information or to discuss intellectual property and copyright, please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or [email protected].

Argon Law is a trusted Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial and property lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.

Always ensure you seek professional advice for your specific circumstances.  The above is not advice and is intended to be general in nature only.

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