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Useful links

The Law

You can view the current version of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) on the ComLaw website.

The current version of the Copyright Act includes all changes made by amending legislation, such as:

  • the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000,
  • the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000
  • the relevant parts of the US Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2004
  • the Copyright Amendment Act 2006
  • the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017

There is generally no need to look at any of these amending acts.

For an overview of the Copyright Act see the Attorney-General’s Department’s Copyright page.

For a summary of moral rights see the Australian Copyright Council’s Moral Rights information sheet.

Exceptions  that allow copying without permission

The Australian Copyright Council Information Sheets:

  • G079 Fair dealing includes advice on exceptions which allow copying, under certain conditions, for research, study, criticism, review, parody, satire, reporting news or legal advice.
  • G053 Research or study  gives advice on the exception which allows copying, under certain conditions, for research or study, including the ‘10%’ rule and what is considered ‘fair’.
  • G034 Quotes and extracts: copyright obligations  provides advice on using quotes and extracts for purposes ranging from research or study to publication.

The Australian Copyright Council’s Information Sheet G023 Duration will help you work out whether copyright has expired, and includes a table listing duration of copyright by format.

  • Through CAL (Copyright Agency Limited) you can pay for a licence to copy certain books, articles, essays and artwork.
  • Through Viscopy you can pay for a licence to copy the works of some Australian artists, craftspeople and photographers.
  • Through APRA and AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) you can pay for a licence to copy, perform or broadcast certain music.
  • Through Screenrights, educational institutions and government agencies can pay for a licence to copy or broadcast certain film, television and radio productions.
  • Through PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) you can pay for a licence to broadcast some recorded music or perform it in public.
  • Through the Australian Publishers Association web site you can find links to the home pages for around 185 Australian publishers.
  • On the Publishers Global web site you can find publishers listed by country. It has links to publishers in around 55 countries, including links to around 420 Australian publishers. 
  • The FOB (Firms Out of Business) database lists some of the international publishing firms, magazines, literary agencies and similar organisations that are no longer in existence.
  • The Australian Society of Authors has a list of Australian authors with links to their individual web pages.
  • The WATCH database is a useful source for contact details of international writers.
  • The Australian Copyright Council has an information sheet on ways to contact government agencies to get permission to copy their material.