Generally, if you want to copy or share someone else’s written work or images, you will need permission or a licence from the copyright owner, unless:
- The copyright has expired. In general, copyright in text, images and music lasts for 70 years after the year of the creator’s death, even if the creator does not own copyright.
- An exception or statutory licence (e.g. for educational or government use) applies.
- Your use falls within the Open Licence for newspaper content.
In Australia, a copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce, publish and communicate their work to the public. The Copyright Agency provides licences on behalf of creators and copyright owners for a variety of uses, some of which include:
- Republishing content in a book or eBook
- Posting content to an intranet
- Making photocopies to publicly distribute
- Prints from digital files
- Use of content in presentations/displays or for training
- Posting on a public website and social media
Depending on how the material will be used, the Copyright Agency offers two types of licences:
- ‘annual’ licences which allow for a range of uses of text and images by organisations and businesses; and
- ‘pay-per-use’ licences which grant ‘one-off’ uses of content such as newspaper, magazine and journal text, by individuals, organisations and businesses.
Copyright enables creators to receive recognition and reward for their creative work. Copyright also gives creators a voice in how and where their work is used.