The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) grants a bundle of exclusive rights on creators of copyright material.  Copyright protection in Australia is free and automatic. Copyright protects the particular expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves.

The meaning of copyright

Pursuant to the Copyright Act, Copyright in literary, dramatic or musical works is defined in s.31(1)(a) as the exclusive right to do all or any of the following acts:

  • (i) to reproduce the work in a material form;
  • (ii) to publish the work;
  • (iii) to perform the work in public;
  • (iv) to communicate the work to the public;
  • (v) to make an adaptation of the work;
  • (vi) to do, about a work that is an adaptation of the first-mentioned work, any of the acts specified about the first-mentioned work in subparagraphs (i) to (v), inclusive;

Copyright in artistic work is the exclusive right to (s.31(1)(b)):

  • (i) to reproduce the work in a material form;
  • (ii) to publish the work;
  • (iii) to communicate the work to the public;

Infringement of Copyright

Establishing copyright infringement is done by showing that there has been a substantial reproduction of copyrighted work and that the final product is similar to the copyrighted work or material.

In other words, copyright is infringed when a person either does or authorises somebody else to do one or more of the rights that the copyright owner is entitled to without the owner’s licence or consent.

Remedies available to you

The primary remedies for infringement are:

  • An injunction (a court order that aims to prevent someone from continuing to infringe on your rights under copyright);
  • Damages or account of profits; and
  • Additional damages.

Depending on the circumstances the Court may grant other remedies.

How we can assist

We can assist:

  • In providing general copyright advice
  • With ensuring your commercial agreements (e.g. licences, assignments, service contracts) adequately protect your copyright and provide for favourable enforcement mechanisms; and
  • In copyright dispute resolution and litigation matters.

Talk to one of our expert lawyers today.