Recently my workplace had a speaker from the Australian Copyright Council chat to us about copyright. He reminded us of all the sections (and exceptions) in copyright that libraries operate under. I’m going to try and re-iterate some of those here, well, the ones I can remember at least. Copyright is a very big topic!

Universal Copyright Symbol

The Copyright Amendment Act of 2006 changed the duration of all works under copyright, to the artist’s lifetime + 70 years. To be protected under copyright a work has to be either a literary work, musical work, artistic work, dramatic work or a sound recording, film, broadcast or published edition.

I didn’t previously know about Moral and Performers Rights. Unlike copyright moral rights are personal to the creator and cannot be transferred. They protect the creators reputation in connection with their copyright material. An example of moral infringement, you say? In 2006 an artist sued a company because a photo was taken and published of his work without his licence or approval and on top of that the company attributed the work to another artist! Performers rights are similar to moral rights but in practice, performers’ rights are often determined by industry agreements, rather than by provisions in the Copyright Act.

Put your copyright in your will. You’ll save someone a headache later on.

A technological protection measure is an access control measure. Think of something like iTunes, you need to log on to access the content you have brought. Logging on is a technological protection measures. However, in the case of libraries we may come up against a situation where we need to circumvent such measure. There is lots of discussion on the web about this exception, so hunt around, read up and get involved.

It was also suggested all librarians in my workplace should refresh their knowledge of Section 50: Reproducing and communicating works by libraries or archives for other libraries or archives. Basically how does copyright work into inter-library loans/supply? And seeing as the my workplace deals with a lot of government agencies, we were given the additional homework of reviewing Section 183: Use of copyright material for the services of the Crown.

Plagiarism is not always the same as copyright infringement.

When creating a contract or entering a licence agreement always ensure that warranties and indemnities are included.  A warranty and an indemnity is essentially a promise that the people you are dealing with won’t infringe copyright and will agree to cover you for any damage you might suffer if they do so. This is a very limited form of protection, but its better than nothing right?

Then there is exception 200AB, as our speaker said, when all else fails, it’ll always be there for you. In my time working in libraries, I have seen mixed responses to 200AB. Probably because you need to put in a lot of effort to prove that it really is the only option left to you.

If you are ever in doubt about copyright, ask an expert.

Till next time!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome)