Protecting your work

You should treat your intellectual property as you would treat any type of property and not dispose of it lightly.

Including copyright statements on works

In Australia, it is not necessary for published works published to carry a copyright symbol or statement to receive copyright protection. However, this is a requirement in some countries.

It’s a sensible precaution to put a copyright statement on your work as it assists with protection in overseas countries and serves as a reminder to others that the work is protected by copyright. It also indicates that you have claimed copyright in the work and makes it easier for users to contact you if they need permission to copy your work.

You should include on your works: the copyright symbol, your name, and the year the work was created, e.g. © Margaret Jones 2005.

Alternatively, you could include a longer copyright statement in a prominent place on your work. While there is no set form of words for a copyright notice, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department Copyright web site suggests the following:

This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of (name and address of copyright owner and the year in which the work was made).

 

Putting your work online on a University-based website

If as a student, you are making your work available on an internal University website, or online learning system (such as WebCT or BlackBoard), you will be asked to complete this student consent form (doc).

 

How do I prove that I’m the copyright owner if there is a dispute?

Negotiation is, of course, the preferred method of settling a dispute. If a dispute about copyright ownership cannot be settled by negotiation, a court may need to decide who was the author or creator of the work. The court would hear evidence from the person who created the work and others who may have been involved in the process or knew about the creation of the work. Other evidence may include drafts of the work and original source materials such as notes from research carried out during the preparation of the work.

Statements of the ownership of copyright and the date of publication appearing on the work will be important as they will be treated in court as accurate evidence of what they say, unless the person disputing those issues can point to something raising a question about their accuracy.