Copyright protects the expression of ideas in tangible forms, including works like novels or computer programmes. Read on to find out more about copyright.

What is Copyright?

Copyright protects the expression of ideas in tangible forms. When you own the copyright to a work, you control the use and commercial exploitation of these works. This means that you have the right to prevent others from reproducing, publishing, performing, communicating to the public, or adapting your work. 

The © Symbol

The copyright or © symbol is merely a notice by the owner that copyright exists. The presence of the symbol does not give the copyright owner any additional rights; the absence of the symbol does not mean that the copyright owner has waived his rights.

In practice, the symbol is usually followed by the year when a copy of the work was first made available and the name of the copyright owner.

Here are some examples of works that may be protected under copyright law:

Literary Works

  • Written works e.g. poems, lyrics, source codes

Dramatic Works

  • Scripts for films

  • Scripts for stage plays

  • Choreography

Musical Works

  • Melodies

Artistic Works

  • Drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, engravings*

  • Buildings or models of buildings*

  • Works of artistic craftsmanship

* regardless of artistic merit

Additionally, films, sound recordings, television and radio broadcasts, cable programmes and performances are also protected by copyright.

The duration varies according to the type of copyright work you own and the specific circumstances. For more information, please refer to our Copyright Act 2021 factsheet.

Copyright Owners

Infringement & Enforcement

Actions to take against copyright infringement

Copyright Resources

Access useful information and links on copyright

Copyright FAQs

Refer to commonly asked questions

Forms & Fees

View request forms and relevant fees

Copyright Tribunal

Forum for licensing disputes between collective management organisations and users