Permission: Do I Need It?
This information sheet is for people who are familiar with the basic copyright principles set out in our information sheet entitled An Introduction to Copyright In Australia and outlines issues relating to permissions and clearances for copyright material. For information about our other information sheets, publications and seminar program, see our website www.copyright.org.au The purpose of this information sheet is to give general introductory information about copyright. If you need to know how the law applies in a particular situation, please get advice from a lawyer. We update our information sheets from time to time. Check our website to make sure this is the most recent version. Relevant information can also be found in our information sheets Permission: How To Get It, Quotes & Extracts and Artworks: Getting Permission. When you need a copyright clearance You will need copyright permission if: • • • • • you use something protected by copyright; you use a 'substantial part' (this may not necessarily be a big part); the copyright has not expired; your use is controlled by the copyright owner (the copyright owner has the exclusive right to make the use), and your use is not covered by a special exception.
For details on how to find the copyright owner, see our information sheet Permission: How To Get It. When you donʼt need a copyright clearance • Youʼre not using a “substantial part” Copyright issues donʼt arise unless you are using an important, distinctive or essential part of copyright material. Note that this may be a small part of the material.
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Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet G103v4 Permission: Do I Need It?
You can rely on an exception to getting permission There are a number of situations in which permission to use copyright material is not required. • These include where the material is being used as a “fair dealing”, which can include the following purposes: criticism or review; parody or satire; and reporting news. See our information sheet Fair Dealing. There are also exceptions relating to taking photos and drawing pictures of buildings, public sculptures and craft. See our information sheet Photographers & Copyright. There are a number of exceptions relating to private copying of material. See our information sheet Copying & Converting Formats for Private Use. There are a number of special exceptions in the Copyright Act that affect libraries. See our information sheet Libraries: Introduction to Copyright. There are a number of special exceptions in the Copyright Act that affect educational institutions. See our information sheet Education: Copyright Basics. There are a number of special exceptions in the Copyright Act that affect government use of copyright material. See our information sheet Government: Commonwealth, State & Territory. There are a number of special exceptions in the Copyright Act that allow people who own, or have a licence to use, a computer program to do certain things with the program. See our information sheet Software & Apps.
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Note, however, that exceptions, to the need to get permission are often subject to limits and pre-conditions. • Copyright has expired Material may be freely used if copyright has expired. Become familiar with the rules of duration which are relevant to the type of material you are using – see our information sheet Duration of Copyright for full details. • The material was never protected by copyright in the first place There are no copyright issues if what you are using is really just ideas, information or styles. Be aware, however, of the distinctions between: • • • ideas and their expression in copyright material; information and the selection and arrangement of information in a compilation or…