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What copyright services do you offer?

  • Copyright advice

  • Copyright registration outside Australia

What does copyright protect?

Copyright protects “works” including artistic, literary, dramatic and musical works.


"Works” can include:


  • artistic works (such as logos, photographs, paintings, drawings, cartoons, maps and plans, and sculpture);

  • computer programs;

  • musical works including the music itself, separately from any lyrics or recording;

  • films;

  • sound recordings;

  • compilations such as directories and databases;

  • dramatic works such as choreography, plays and mime.


Do I need to register my copyright?

Not in Australia. Copyright works are automatically protected in Australia as soon as the work is reduced to material form.


How long does copyright protection last?

Copyright lasts from the time the work is created until 70 years after the year of the creator’s death. Once copyright has expired, anyone can use the material without permission.

Who owns the copyright in the work I commissioned? 

The general rule under the Copyright Act is that the first owner of a copyright in a “work” is its creator.

The general rule can be varied by contract.

An assignments or licence of copyright works should be in writing and signed by the creator in order to be fully effective.


An employment contract can specify that the employer will own an artistic work if it is created as part of the employee’s usual duties.


Business owners who commission third parties such as the design of a logo for a trade mark, software, or website should have a contract with the third parties about who will own the copyright.

In the absence of a contract, the creator of the work usually retains ownership – not the business.


Can I rely on copyright protection for my design?

In general, copyright protection for an industrial design will be extinguished once more than fifty 3D copies of a product have been produced. 


Do I need to register my copyright overseas?

Although copyright protection is automatic in any of the 174 countries that are party to the Berne Convention, formal registration of copyright is nevertheless available in some countries (e.g. the United States of America and China), and will put you in a better legal position if you have to enforce your rights in those jurisdictions.

We can register your copyright works in your foreign jurisdictions of interest.

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