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A person or a corporate entity can own intellectual property. Works that can carry copyright will take the form of original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, as well as sound recordings, cinematographic films, television and radio broadcasts and the like. Copyright is a creature of statute, meaning, that it is governed by the previsions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

Copyright creates two types of rights: economic rights and moral rights. Most copyright infringement disputes concern economic rights, that is, rights in respect of the use and commercial exploitation of a work where the person who owns that right takes action against a third party that purports to exercise rights over that work. Moral rights are a recent addition to the Australian law, and these are discussed further in our section on “Moral Rights”.

Section 31 of the Act describes the nature of copyright, stating that an author of the kind of work listed therein has the “exclusive right” to reproduce, publish, perform, communicate to the public, make an adaptation of the work, and do other things specific to certain types of other work of which he is the author or creator. Copyright does not subsist eternally, but remains for the duration of the life of the author or creator of the work and for a specified period after that person’s death. The period after the author’s or creator’s death will differ depending on the nature of the work.

Infringement of copyrighted material can take various forms. Under the Act an act of infringement will occur if a person does things that usurp interfere with the copyrighted material, imports the work for sale or hire, sells or hires the work, permits the work to be performed in a public place and the like. The Act does however provide various defences and exceptions to allegations of infringement, so that an act that would ordinarily be considered an infringement would not carry any legal liability on the alleged infringing party. The broad category of defences to copyright infringement include: Research; Study; Criticism; Review; Parody or Satire; Reporting (for example, news or current affairs).

What action can be taken?

There are two ways that disputes relating to copyright can be dealt with: Dispute Resolution and Litigation. Generally speaking it is the policy of Navado to provide the most economical legal services for our clients. For this purpose, we endeavour to resolve the matter in good faith before any steps are taken to litigate. Litigation can be very expensive and stressful, especially in the intellectual property area. It is in everybody’s interest to solve problems before they become overwhelming. Be that as it may, sometimes litigation is the only way out. This is often the case when parties are entrenched in their positions and there is no prospect for a negotiated resolution. In this circumstance, there may be no alternative other than seeking a Court determination of the dispute.

It is important that action is taken as soon as an author or creator of copyright material receives notice of a breach of that copyright. This will ensure that damage is minimized.

Customs Notice for Copyright Violation

It is possible that you may come to believe that items infringing your copyright may be imported to Australia. In such a situation, it might be a good idea to inform the Customs office through a Notice of Objection, detailing the particulars of your work so that they can successfully identify and seize the infringing items. Navado Lawyers and Solicitors can assist in the drafting and application of this Notice so that your reputation and goodwill is not damaged by the influx of substandard and inferior goods into the domestic market.

For more information, see “Copyright Legal Advice.”

If you require assistance with a copyright dispute and/or a copyright infringement, you should make an appointment to see one of our Intellectual Property Solicitors, who will usually see you in our Sydney Office or otherwise will see you in one of our branch offices. To see a list of our branch offices, click on the “Locations” tab above.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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If you require assistance with a Intellectual Property matter, you should make an appointment to see one of our Lawyers in one of the following locations:

  • Sydney
  • Parramatta
  • Chatswood
  • Hurstville

Our Locations

  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Sydney
  • Trademarks Lawyer Sydney
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Parramatta
  • Trademarks Lawyer Parramatta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer North Sydney
  • Trademarks Lawyer North Sydney
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Hurstville
  • Trademarks Lawyer Hurstville
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Liverpool
  • Trademarks Lawyer Liverpool
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Gordon
  • Trademarks Lawyer Gordon
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Baulkham Hills
  • Trademarks Lawyer Baulkham Hills
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Campbelltown
  • Trademarks Lawyer Campbelltown
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Bondi Junction
  • Trademarks Lawyer Bondi Junction
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Chatswood
  • Trademarks Lawyer Chatswood
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Miranda
  • Trademarks Lawyer Miranda
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Bella Vista
  • Trademarks Lawyer Bella Vista
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer Erina
  • Trademarks Lawyer Erina
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