Under the Copyright Act 1994, the author of an original work is usually the first owner of copyright in that work.
There is no need to put a copyright symbol or notice on a work for a person to claim copyright ownership. The copyright rights belong to the author automatically as soon as an original work has been put into a material form, such as in writing.
In most cases, the author is the person who creates a work and their fundamental right is to decide how their work will be used.
Ownership of copyright
During the term of copyright, anyone who wishes to copy or do another restricted act in relation to the relevant work must get permission from the copyright owner, unless the use is permitted under the Copyright Act.
Duration of copyright
In New Zealand, copyright in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works lasts for the life of the author plus fifty years from the end of the year in which the author dies.
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