Business Law – Lecture 8 – 09/09/2013
Intellectual property (IP) is a form of intangible creation such as the expression of an idea or a
trademark. It is a product of intellectual effort rather than a physical manufacturing process. Intellectual
property law grants a business the right to prevent others from copying, using or exploiting its IP
without its permission.
IP is a valuable commercial asset. The owner of IP has the exclusive right to exploit the IP for a profit.
This includes the right to license the IP: in return for a fee owner of the IP permits others to exercise
their exclusive rights in relation to the IP.
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?
Copyright is the legal right to prevent unauthorised copying of the expression of an idea e.g. a book, a
song, a movie or a photograph. Copyright in Australia is regulated by the Copyright Act 1968.
Requirement One – the creation is a ‘work’ or ‘subject matter other than works’
E.g. literary works, musical works, dramatic works, artistic works, sound recordings, films, television and
sound broadcasts and published editions.
Requirement Two – the creation is original
This does not mean that the creation must be different to other creations, only that it must be the
results of the person’s own skill and effort rather than the result of copying from another source.
Requirement Three – the creation is expressed in a material form
It is the expression that is protected, not the information or idea itself, it is not the originator of an idea
who owns the copyright but the person who first expresses the idea in material form.
Use of the copyright symbol is not essential but it does mean that any infringement of copyright will not
EXTENT OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
The copyright owner has exclusive rights:
- To reproduce the work in a material form
- To publish the work
- To perform the work in public
- To communicate the work to the public, and
- To make an adaptation of the work
Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work: 70 years after the creator’s death or first publication
Film or sound recording: 70 years after first publication
Television or sound broadcasting: 50 years after first publication
Published edition: 25 years after first publication
It is common practice for creators to assign copyright to publishers and employers.
Copyright will be infringed if the following requirements are satisfied:
- A substantial part of the creation is copied
- There is objective similarity between the original and the copy
- There is a causal connection between the original and the copy A person accused of infringing copyright may seek to rely upon a range of possible defences, including:
- Fair Dealing for the purposes of criticism or review, parody or satire, reporting news, judicial
proceedings or professional advice, or research or