In Australia, you may be able to copy material without seeking permission under one of the following conditions:
Creative Commons licensed material can be used without seeking permission as long as you follow the license conditions. There are six main licences which specify the reuse, adaptation, remixing, or sharing allowances.
|Creative Commons Symbol||License||Free to:||Conditions:|
|CC BY||Share & Adapt||Attribution|
|CC BY-SA||Share & Adapt||Attribution, ShareAlike|
|CC BY-NC||Share & Adapt||Attribution, NonCommercial|
|CC BY-NC-SA||Share & Adapt||Attribution, NonCommercial, ShareAlike|
|CC BY-ND||Share||Attribution, NoDerivatives|
|CC BY-NC-ND||Share||Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivatives|
In professional settings avoid those that feature:
Not all licences allow reuse for commercial purposes or adaptation. One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. It is important to cite the version of the CC licence the work being used is licensed under not just the licence type.
Visit the Creative Commons website to understand the licences. Match the Creative Commons license clause descriptions and icons by dragging and dropping them into the right place.
Australia has a ‘Fair Dealing’ provision (exception), which allows individuals to copy limited amounts of copyrighted material without permission. This is different to the United States “Fair Use” defence, and much more prescriptive. You may not be able to rely upon this clause in your professional practice, as Fair Dealing only applies under specific circumstances:
You may also come across content for which copyright and copyright holders cannot be determined, often referred to as ‘Orphan works’. As their copy rights and protections cannot be confirmed, it is recommended to take a risk-management approach and avoid their use where possible.
If you do use an orphan material keep records of a due diligence search to track the rightsholder and include a ‘good faith notice’. This indicates that you have been unable to identify the copyright owner and encourages them to contact you to discuss your usage. While a good faith notice will not necessarily protect you from litigation, it does demonstrate that you have attempted to comply with the law.
In Australia, copyright of text, images and music generally lasts for 70 years after the creator’s death – even if the creator did not own the copyright. However, Australian copyright duration can vary depending on a few factors.
Australia’s Channel 10’s “The Panel” show has faced multiple litigations for their use of copyrighted video clips. When the show’s clips were followed by a discussion, this was found to be permissible under fair dealing. However, when they showed clips just because they found them funny, a court found them liable for copyright infringement.
Watch Peter Combe's video to test your Public Domain knowledge.