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University of Wollongong Australia

Copyright: About copyright

Legal information and requirements for copyright regarding academic research for staff and students.

About copyright

Copyright basics

As outlined in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) by the Australian Copyright Council:

"Copyright law creates incentives for people to invest their time, talent and other resources in creating new material – particularly cultural and educational material, which benefits society."

  • Copyright is one of a suite of intellectual property (IP) rights under Australian (and international) law.
  • Copyright only exists in original works, including literary material, artworks, music, drama, film and sound recordings.
  • Copyright is considered to exist immediately upon creation of the work and expires 70 years after the death of the author. (Not applicable to Crown copyright.)
  • There is no legal requirement to place a © symbol on a work.

Why do we need to follow copyright rules?

Complying with copyright legislation is important whether you're using third-party content in teaching and academic research or seeking to protect and license your own content and data.

Copyright legislation applies to everyone and is relative to the way you re-purpose the original content. That means you may need to follow different copyright rules as a teacher than you would as a student, and vice versa. It's all about how you use the content in relation to the five fairness factors.

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