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Copyright Act 1968

Applied IT (Year 11) - Impacts of Technology (U1)

Jeckmen Wu

What is Copyright?

The Copyright Act 1968 is intended to protect original works by providing the creator with exclusive rights to use and/or reproduce their work. These rights are automatically applied from the moment the work takes “material form” and will last the life of the creator plus an additional 70 years after their death.

However, there are certain exemptions that aren’t protected by copyright, including individual words, short phrases (including slogans), fashion, ideas & common knowledge. 

Fair Dealing

Under “fair dealing” in the Copyright Act, an individual is allowed to use copyright material without infringing copyright if it is for one of the following purposes: research, news broadcast, criticism, or parody/satire. It is important to note that only 10% of a work may be copied if it is intended for research or study (e.g. 5 pages from a 50-page book or 30 seconds from a 5-minute video). Additionally, all work used/copied under fair dealing must include acknowledgement of the title and the creator.

Private Use

Private use entitles an individual who owns a copy of the material to be able to copy it in full for personal/private & domestic (i.e. household) purposes (e.g. recording a live broadcast to be watched at a different time). This means it cannot be shared with those outside your family (including friends) or offered for sale. It is imperative that you actually own a copy of the work, unless it is a broadcast, to access “private use”, so a borrowed library book, for example, will not suffice. 

Moral Rights

Moral rights are about protecting the ownership & integrity of the creator’s work. This means that it solely concerns the creator, and not the copyright owner (yes, they can be two different individuals/bodies). Hence, moral rights cannot be transferred or assigned to anyone other than the original creator and are distinctively separate from the economic rights granted to a copyright owner.

Moral rights can be thought of more simply as personal rights, which include the right of: 

  • attribution: connecting the creator to their work by correctly naming them.

  • (against) false attribution: not to have someone else credited as the creator and acknowledging any changes you have made to their work.

  • integrity: preventing their work from being treated in a derogatory manner (i.e. anything that may damage their reputation).

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