What is Copyright?

We’ve all heard the term, and know that it’s about ownership of something created, but there’s a lot more involved than knowing you can’t just copy someone else’s work and pass it off as your own.

In a nutshell, “copyright” is a type of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship in the literary, artistic, dramatic and musical worlds, as soon as it is in a fixed and tangible form. You can’t copyright ideas or concepts, only the physical expression of these things.

Copyright, which is really a bundle of moral and economic rights, applies the moment your thing exists - it doesn’t need the © sign (although we strongly recommend using that on everything).

Because Copyright laws exist to balance rights of the owner with the privilege of use by a user, it’s smart to have a basic understanding of copyright law in your country of origin (where you’re creating your work,) as well as countries your work might have an audience (overseas), just so you are aware of instances when your work is legally allowed to be used without your permission, and when it’s not.

Keen to understand how copyright applies to you?
We're offering FREE, one hour Creative Rights for Creative People workshops throughout 2022. Find out more here >>

For more information: https://www.copyright.co.nz/understanding-copyright/what-is-copyright

Written by Karen Workman, Kaiwhakahaere Whakapa | Creative Rights Educator

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