Last updated 16 August 2022

What is Protected by Copyright?click to download a pdf of this chapter
First Ownership
Rights Held by the Copyright Owner
Duration of Copyright
Exploitation of Copyright Works
Copyright-collecting Societies
Copyright Tribunal of Australia
Infringement of Copyright
Exceptions to Copyright Infringement
Piracy and Copyright Enforcement
Remedies for Copyright Owners
What are Moral Rights?
The Right of Attribution
The Right Not to have Authorship Falsely Attributed
The Right of Integrity
What Do Moral Rights Apply To?
Who Holds Moral Rights?
Excuses, Defences and Exceptions for Infringement of Moral Rights
Remedies for an Infringement of Moral Rights
Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists

Copyright law protects the expression of ideas or information provided they are original and reduced into what is known as material form. Copyright does not protect the underlying idea or information but only the expression of the idea or information.
Copyright provides the copyright owner with an alienable economic right to control reproductions and other uses of their works.

As copyright is personal property, copyright can be sold (assigned) or licensed to a third party.

Typically, moral rights are defined in opposition to copyright. Moral rights provide specific protection to authors, their reputation and, in some cases, the work itself. Moral rights are personal to the creator and serve to protect the reputation of the author. They are non-economic rights that are distinct from copyright and are often justified on similar non-economic grounds. Unlike copyright, an author’s moral rights cannot be sold or licensed; however, an author may consent to infringements of their moral rights.

In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) sets out the rights and obligations of copyright owners and copyright users. The aim of the legislation is to balance the rights of creators with the need of the public to access and use copyright works.