Five reasons your organisation should be thinking about copyright

If you haven’t thought about how your team is copying and sharing printed material, now is the time. Here are five things every organisation needs to know when it comes to copyright.

1. If your team uses printed material created by others, it’s likely you have obligations

Generally speaking, if you’re copying, scanning or sharing material created and owned by someone else, whether you want to use it to train your team, or to deliver a presentation, or for some other purpose, you need to gain permission from the copyright owner. If that sounds difficult, the good news is that a copyright licence can help you to do the right thing – and comply with the law – easily.

2. Copyright is how creators and creative businesses are paid for their work

You probably know that copyright is a form of intellectual property which gives the creator of an original work (for example a book, or an image, a film, or a song) the right to earn from its success as well as choose how it is used by others. But have you thought about the role copyright plays in the growth of New Zealand’s creative industries? As the mechanism that allows writers, publishers and other creative people to be paid for their work, it also helps to fuel and incentivise creativity. That means more books, articles, films and music with the potential to inspire, educate, inform and contribute to our understanding of who we are as a nation.

3. There are limits and some exceptions to copyright

Copyright doesn’t provide an absolute set of rights to creators, though. There are limits and a small range of exceptions (read more here), for example for the purposes of activities like news reporting or private study. These are to balance creators’ rights with those of users and the benefits society receives when knowledge is shared.

4. A licence can help you to comply with the law and get it right on copyright

The law also provides for copyright licensing schemes, like our Copyright Licensing New Zealand print licences. A licence is an inexpensive and time-efficient way of gaining permission to scan, copy and share from printed works. It saves you from going to every individual rights owner each time you use their work to seek permission.

We offer a variety of licences, tailored to the needs of different organisations. Licence-holders pay an annual fee to legally copy, scan and share from printed works and when we collect licensing revenue, we distribute this back to rightsholders. Our licences are a great mechanism for reducing your copyright risk, and helping to ensure you’re doing the right thing by recognising and paying the owners of the printed material you copy and share from.

Find out more about who we and what we do here.

5. Deep-dive copyright information is available for those keen to understand more

For a deep dive into copyright in New Zealand read our white paper (pdf):
What copyright protects and how it works March 2022.pdf.

Our licence-holders also gain access to a suite of comprehensive copyright education material, as well as our Knowledge Base/help desk.

Contact us to discuss your organisation’s print licensing needs.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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