Saturday, October 28, 2006

Looking into Copyright - graphic design

Key points
  • Drawings, logos, photographs and visual images are generally protected by copyright.
  • Copyright does not protect ideas, styles or techniques.
  • Ownership of copyright varies according to the circumstances in which the work was made.

Copyright Protection generally

In Australia, copyright law is contained in Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and decisions of courts.

As a result of international treaties such as the Berne Convention, most foreign copyright owners are protected in Australia, and Australian copyright owners are protected in most other countries.

What does copyright protect?

Copyright protects a range of materials, including artist works, written material (such as journal articles, novels, and reports), musical works and films.

Drawings, logos, photographs and other visual images are likely to be protected by copyright as artistic works. For example, the stylised letter "R" used as a logo by the Roland Corporation has been held to be protected as an artistic work. In another case, a logo consisting of three rectangles and a triangle, arranged to form the outline of a house around the words "Aussie Home Loans" was also found to be an artistic work.

Although it is not entirely clear, the layout and typography of documents may also be protected as an artistic work. However, it is likely this will have only limited protection as a published edition. (The published edition copyright generally refers to the layout of a book or periodical, and protects the publisher's investment in preparing the edition for publication.)

Copyright does not protect ideas, styles or techniques. For example, the "look and feel" of a newletter or other publication is not generally protected by copyright. A person may therfore generally copy ideas about how a publication might be laid out (although photocopying a particular edition of another publication might be an infringement of copyright in the published edition).


Blogger CLEA said...

Excellent post!

8:50 AM  
Blogger thats me in the corner said...

hey christy,
that was very interesting. Thank you.

5:46 PM  

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