Copyright protects the original way an idea or information is communicated, this includes:

  • writing
  • music
  • visual images
  • broadcasts
  • sound recording
  • moving images
  • computer programs.

You don’t need to register for copyright in Australia. The moment an idea or creative concept is documented on paper or electronically it is automatically protected by copyright in Australia. Copyright protection is free and automatic under the Copyright Act 1968.

How long does copyright protection last?

Copyright protection can differ depending on the type of copyright material and if it has been made public. Generally copyright lasts for:

  • 70 years for works after the death of the author
  • 70 years from publication for sound recordings and films after being made public
  • 50 years for television and radio broadcasts after being broadcast.

When copyright expires, the material falls into the public domain and may be freely used.

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