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Copyright is a type of intellectual property right. It protects a creative work from unauthorised or unlicensed reproduction by giving the owner the exclusive rights of ownership. If someone duplicates your protected work without permission, you have legal recourse to have it removed or seek recompense.

Copyright in Australia is free and automatic for original works. We recommend you place a notice in the front of your book on its imprint page to make clear to any readers that your work is indeed copyrighted, and the year in which it was first created, e.g. “© exlibris, 2020”. Not doing so doesn’t invalidate your rights, but it is standard practice and helps to bolster your claim in the event of a violation.

Can I use someone else’s material in my book?

If you are seeking to reproduce copyrighted works, you will need the written permission of the current rights holder.

In Australia there are some situations in which you can use someone else’s protected work. The Copyright Act makes limited exceptions for cultural and educational institutions or to assist individuals with print or intellectual disabilities. There are also exclusions for the purpose of research, study, criticism, review, parody, satire, reporting the news or giving legal advice. These exceptions vary in capacity and allowance, so a thorough reading of the Copyright Act is advised. If you’re still not sure, we advise you to consult a copyright lawyer.

You can read the latest amended Australian Copyright Act here.

Please note that copyright law varies from country to country. If you’re planning to sell your book outside Australia, there may be additional requirements regarding registration or providing notice.

If you would like to have a chat to us about your book, please contact us.