Copyright Lawyers Sydney

Copyright Lawyers Sydney

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Highly Reliable & Trustworthy Sydney Copyright Lawyers

Copyright law can be a confusing area, but with the expertise of our Sydney team of copyright lawyers, you'll have the knowledge you need to navigate it successfully. We work with clients on all copyright-related matters, including copyright disputes, infringement and licencing.

Protect Your Creative Work From Infringement

If you are an artist, designer, writer or musician, you'll likely need to familiarise yourself with intellectual property and copyright laws to protect your work. You may have copyrighted material of your own already and want to understand how your legal rights. Our team are highly skilled at helping their clients understand the Copyright Act and assisting with litigation if court proceedings are required.

Copyright is often misunderstood or confused with a registered trademark, a separate process entirely. Copyright is automatically given to the person who creates a work, whether a painting, a house design or a musical composition. You don't have to do anything to have a copyright granted; it applies automatically due to a creator's ownership of their work.

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What services can you help me with?

Advice on copyright ownership and rights

Our highly skilled lawyers will ensure you have the right advice to protect your original works or enter agreements with others regarding copyright ownership.

Registration of copyrights

You don't need to register a copyright; it's applied automatically. You can use a copyright disclaimer, assignment agreements, trade marks, patents and NDAs to protect your work or licence your copyrighted work to another, which our team can help you with.

Drafting and negotiating licensing agreements

If you wish to license copyrighted materials from another or license your own work to others, our team will assist you in drafting and negotiating fair terms that adhere to the Copyright Act.

Litigation and dispute resolution

In some cases, dispute resolution or litigation may be necessary. We can help with representation or facilitating mediation on your behalf.

Cease-and-desist letters

We can assist you in drafting a cease and desist letter for general copyright infringement. This is a legal written demand for another person or organisation to discontinue infringing upon copyright material for which you own or have the rights.

Due diligence assessments

If you are considering buying or selling a business with intellectual property assets, or an asset that is copyrighted, we can assist you with valuation and ensuring there is no infringement before a sale.

Our Sydney Lawyers

Colin Cheung

Colin leads Actuate IP's legal team with a key focus on IP disputes resolution, litigation + oppositions and IP agreements.

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Colin Cheung

Principal | Lawyer @ Actuate IP

Cameron Lang

Cameron Lang

Senior Associate | Lawyer @ Actuate IP

Amy O'Bryan

Amy O'Bryan

Lawyer @ Actuate IP

How do I know if my copyright is protected by intellectual property law?

Generally speaking, having copyright gives you exclusive rights to your own work unless you choose to licence or transfer ownership to another individual or third party. You may choose to do this if you want to sell the rights to a book you wrote to become a movie or license music you've made to be played at specific venues. You may also do this to credit another person who co-created an artwork, song or new technology.

We can assist you in transferring ownership or licence your work so that others can use it or enjoy it. There are different types of licences, which may be limited, or grant exclusive rights to another, which we can discuss during a consultation, to see what will best meet your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is copyright infringement litigation?

If someone is using your original work without your express permission, litigation is an option for protecting your rights. In many cases, matters can be solved without the need for litigation, but it may be necessary if other attempts to stop infringements haven't been successful.

If you have created a work, you have intellectual property rights that protect your IP assets and business intellectual property that you have made. We can assist you to ensure these are upheld.

What is 'fair use' (fair dealing) regarding copyright infringement?

A fair use, or fair dealing, policy applies to creative works in Australia. This means that in some cases, it is okay to use the creative work of another, but it depends on how it is being used. Fair use is a US-based term widely used and misunderstood in Australia. In Australia, fair dealing refers to several areas when using another's work is deemed acceptable. These areas include research, review, parody, satire, news reporting and also for the provision of legal advice. It can be a complicated area worth researching or seeking further advice on if you need additional information.

What is copyright, and what does it protect?

Types of work that can be copyrighted

Many creative and artistic works, such as writing, photos, videos, software and music, are protected in Australia under the Copyright Act 1968.

The duration of Copyright in Australia

Copyright automatically applies for seventy (70) years after an author's death or the time of publication of sound recordings or movies being released.

Radio, television and podcasts have a fifty-year protection from the time of being released publicly.

How can I register a copyright?

In Australia, you can't! It's free and automatic. You can licence a copyright or transfer ownership. If you require assistance with licensing or ownership transfer, our team can assist you in understanding the process involved. If you have specific elements of your intellectual property that you wish to protect, there are other avenues that you can look at. These include registering patents that provide protection for your inventions, which can be helpful for new technology or scientific discoveries. Trade secrets and confidential information can be protected by confidentiality agreements, commonly known as NDAs. We can help you look at the best ways of protecting intellectual property and providing copyright legal advice.

How is copyright law enforced?

Copyright law is enforced in Australia when the copyright owner takes action to prevent another from using. No formal registration system exists, so a person must show ownership if disputes arise. Enforcement may happen with two parties negotiating or end up in the Federal Circuit Court if the parties cannot agree, with intellectual property lawyers assisting parties to reach an outcome.

What are the benefits of legal representation when seeking copyright registration?

  1. Advising on copyright protection: Lawyers can advise clients on protecting their creative works under copyright law.
  2. Clearing copyright ownership: Lawyers can help clients clear the request and use rights of copyrighted works, including works created by independent contractors, co-authors, and creative collaborators.
  3. Licensing: Lawyers can negotiate and draft licensing agreements to grant permission to use copyrighted works and ensure that clients are compensated for their use.
  4. Infringement prevention: Lawyers can help clients prevent copyright infringement by taking preventive measures such as registering their work, marking their work with copyright notices, and monitoring the use of their works.
  5. Enforcement: Lawyers can enforce clients' rights by filing lawsuits, sending cease-and-desist letters, and negotiating settlements.
  6. Risk assessment: Lawyers can help clients identify and assess copyright infringement risks, including risks associated with using works created by others.
  7. Due diligence: Lawyers can conduct due diligence investigations to ensure that clients acquire copyright ownership or licenses that are free and clear of any potential infringement claims.
  8. Registration: Lawyers can help clients register their works with the relevant copyright bodies, such as the Australian Copyright Council.
  9. Fair use: Lawyers can advise clients on the fair use exception to copyright infringement and when they might be able.

What is considered copyright infringement?

If someone else has used a substantial part of your work, they have likely infringed upon your copyright. It's essential to understand the fair use policy and check that you haven't infringed on their copyright too! Anything under 10% is generally considered fair use, but not always. If you have word for word copied 1000 words of someone's 10,000-word literature work and passed that off as your own, it would be much less likely to be seen as 'fair use'. It's also essential to seek legal advice before you make a copyright claim, as it may be seen as a groundless threat. There are also situations where someone may not even know it was the work of another, for instance, if your work has been given to them by a third party.

What copyright enforcement options are available?

Intellectual property disputes involving copyright infringement can be resolved in several ways, usually with the help of a copyright lawyer. You may be able to request the other party to stop using it through means of a cease and desist letter or written communication. In other cases, litigation may be required. If you need help to understand what IP law has been breached, our Sydney-based copyright lawyers will help you know the best approach to resolution.

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Specialised team of Sydney Copyright Lawyers

With a wealth of experience, we offer comprehensive guidance on trademarks, patents, and copyright. We work with individuals and businesses to safeguard their confidential business data. Our expertise ranges from managing intricate trademark portfolios to aiding startups.

Schedule your initial assessment now - partner with Actuate IP will ensure you have unparalleled legal support for your copyright matters.

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