Copyright is a right given to creators of original works like artwork, books, computer software, design and architectural drawings, films, music, photographs, sound recordings, and television. At a basic level, it enables the owner to prevent others from copying or reproducing their original works.
Copyright protection provides an incentive for creation and innovation by protecting the author’s original expression of an idea, but it doesn’t protect the idea itself.
In New Zealand, copyright law also prohibits the unauthorised copying of product designs for items such as furniture, lights, and household and medical appliances, through to heavy machinery, plant, and vehicles. These product designs can be computer generated, they do not need to be hand drawn.
How do I protect my works with copyright?
Unlike other forms of IP rights, such as patents and registered designs, copyright does not involve a registration process. Copyright protection arises automatically when an original work is created and, as a general rule of thumb, lasts for 50 years from the death of the author in New Zealand and 70 years in Australia.
Copyright also extends automatically to over 170 countries around the world via international treaties.
How can AJ Park help me?
Copyright issues can be complicated as is currently evidenced by internet copyright cases. There are numerous exceptions to the application of the laws in New Zealand, Australia and around the world. When you have a copyright issue, it is important to get specialist advice on the best way to manage, commercialise, and enforce your copyright.
At AJ Park we have some of Australasia’s most experienced copyright lawyers. Our team has a broad understanding of copyright and its application in the modern digital environment and traditional sectors like literature, film, television, product design. We also have connections to the best copyright lawyers around the globe through our network of associates.
We’ve acted for major software companies in precedent setting copyright cases relating to computer software. We also act for many successful brand owners and designers by running copyright compliance programs to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods.
Our team can help you with all aspects of copyright law in New Zealand and Australia. This includes:
- freedom to operate advice
- identifying owners
- securing and transferring ownership
- licensing and royalty arrangements
- customs notices
- registration of copyright in China and the United States
- defending you against copyright claims, and
- enforcement of your copyright in New Zealand, Australia and around the world.
If you need plain English advice on copyright, get in touch with one of our experts below.