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Copyright @ CDU: What is copyright?

A general guide to assist CDU staff and students to observe Australian copyright law

What is Copyright?

Copyright is the protection of original literary and artistic works and other subject matter and is covered in Australia by the Copyright Act. The legislation affords creators of works certain rights, but balances these rights against the need for other people to access and use the works.  Copyright protection is free and automatic; there is no registration process, and no requirement to publish or have the copyright symbol attached. Also note that copyrights are transferrable, eg when an author of an article wishes to publish in a particular journal, they would normally be required to sign over their copyright in that article to the journal publisher.

What does copyright protect?

Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. This expression of ideas can take many forms:

How long does copyright last?

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