Copyright – The Facts in Brief

Copyright gives the author, designer or creator of a work the exclusive right to control the way his or her work is used or exploited. Copyright will automatically protect the work as soon as it is recorded, i.e. either in writing or in any other way.

Copyright can protect:

  • literary works, including novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, song lyrics and newspaper articles;
  • dramatic works, including dance or mime;
  • musical works;
  • artistic works, including paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture, technical
  • drawings, diagrams, maps and logos;
  • layouts or typographical arrangements used to publish a work;
  • recordings of a work, including sound and film; and
  • broadcasts of a work.

The owner of a work protected by copyright can indicate this to others by placing the ‘©’ copyright symbol on their work, along with the name of the owner of the work and the date that the work was created.

Copyright owners have the exclusive right to carry out certain acts in relation to their work, such as copying the work, issuing copies of the work to the public, performing, showing or playing the work and making adaptations or translations of the work.

Copyright owners can also prevent others communicating a work to the public by electronic transmission and making available to the public a recording of a performance by electronic transmission, e.g. by putting it on a website.

A third party can only carry out the above acts with the copyright owner’s permission.



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