Copyright Infringement

Attorneys of CHRYSLEGAL have a history of involvement in issues in the copyright field.

Copyright protects works which are original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It also protects other works such as films and recordings. The most common form of copyright affecting traders is copyright subsisting in artistic and literary works. Broadly, copyright is infringed if a person copies a substantial part of a work and reproduces it in a material form. In addition, where a person imports an article for commercial purposes where the importer ought to have known that if the article had been made in Australia by the importer it would have infringed copyright.

There is no system for registration of copyright in Australia and protection applies automatically when a new work is created. It does not protect ideas/concepts or names as such. It is the written form of expression of an idea/ concept or logo form of a name that is protected.

When one has artwork created for a particular purpose, they do not automatically own the copyright in that work unless there is an agreement to that effect or an assignment of copyright. Also if you buy a piece of art you do not own the copyright in that art and you cannot reproduce it for such purposes as gift cards or posters. There needs to be an agreement to allow this to be done or an assignment of copyright.

If the copyright matter is industrially applied and produced commercially in a three-dimensional form then, unless you have applied for a design registration you are faced with losing the right to enforce the copyright in any infringement action. The Federal Court noted that a logo, such as the “Polo” mark, when applied to a garment with raised stitching constitutes a three dimensional application of the artwork and copyright cannot be used to protect the rights in the garment in question.

CHRYSLEGAL’s attorneys acted for a major entertainment company group in a copyright case where one of the major issues was whether copyright in a work had fallen into the public domain. The Firm was successful in that case, but it demonstrated the importance of retaining a record the background history of authorship and ownership of copyright material and also the conflict that exists between country laws.

LincolnCopyright Infringement