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Creative Commons & Copyright: Home

Copyright and You

Copyright is a bundle of rights that help protect creators' Intellectual Property. The intent of Copyright is to encourage creators to make cultural works via .......... incentives. In an online world, where we can easily share media, re-mixes, and collages, it is important to be aware of our rights and responsibilities in protecting creators.

Copyright materials may include books, photographs, paintings, scripts, musical scores, films, sound recordings, and computer programs, etc. You are not permitted to use Copyright works without the Copyright owners’ consent, or without a statutory exemption. If you do, you will have Infringed Copyright, and may be sued by the Copyright owner.

Under Australian law, all material created by someone is automatically covered under Copyright. This includes your own original work. See the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Copyright is not perpetual, however, and works can lapse into the Public Domain for free use.

As a Student, Fair Dealing provisions give you some limited exemptions, however, it is a good idea to be aware of Copyright laws, and use works responsibly. In particular, knowing how to use Copyright and / or non-Copyright material correctly is a vital skill for professional practice.

Copyright and Plagiarism

Copyright and Plagiarism are not the same thing (you can view Copyright as the legal side of Intellectual Property rights, and Plagiarism as the ethical use of others' works.) Copyright and Plagiarism are not mutually exclusive, however, and you may need to follow Copyright law, as well as acknowledging a source, and vice versa to be fully covered.

For more, check our page on Referencing & Copyright.

Copyright is your responsibility to follow, when in doubt, assume material is protected by copyright.

See ECU's page on Copyright for Students for more information, or other areas of this guide.

The Australian Copyright Council has a lot of excellent resources, and SmartCopying for Australian schools has education / study-specific information for students.



Public Domain



Creative Commons


All Creative Commons License images from Creative Commons, n.d. Retrieved from Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0: