What Is Copyright?

Copyright law gives owners of copyright in certain works, including musical works and lyrics, legal rights in their work. This means they can control how their work is used and negotiate payment when other people want to use their work. By ensuring that creators and those who invest in their work are paid, copyright aims to encourage further creativity and investment in the creative industries. At the same time, copyright law balances this aim with a need to ensure access to copyright works. There are therefore certain exceptions to these rights that allow for various uses of copyright material in limited circumstances. Australian copyright law is provided by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and case law. In New Zealand, the legislation is the Copyright Act 1994.

General information about copyright can be obtained from the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts website: https://www.communications.gov.au/documents/short-guide-copyright and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/business/intellectual-property/copyright/copyright-protection-new-zealand.  You may also obtain information from the Australian Copyright Council: www.copyright.org.au and from APRA AMCOS: www.apraamcos.com.au.