In Australia, if a piece of work meets the criteria set out in the Copyright Act 1968, it is automatically protected without the need to register, unlike an intellectual property (e.g. a trademark).
There are three criteria for copyright protection:
- Firstly, the piece of work must be materialized. For example, simply having a business idea does not entitle the idea to copyright protection, it must be expressed in tangible forms such as a business contract. Copyright protects the expression(s) of an idea instead of the mere idea.
- Secondly, the work created must be an original, which means that it cannot be copied from an existing work.
- Finally, the work must be considered as one or more of the following types of work: Literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, films, sound recordings, broadcasts and published editions.
Generally, the creator of a work is the owner of its copyright and would have exclusive right to copy the work, use it in public (e.g. through performance or communication), and broadcast, publish and adapt it.
Copyright or otherwise, it is important to protect your intellectual property to ensure the goodwill of your business. CMI Legal provide a range of intellectual property services. Speak to us about your project and find out how our legal experts can help you obtain adequate protection for your assets.