In Australia, copyright protection is free and automatic as long as your work is original and falls within one of the categories of protected material such as artistic works. It is a good idea for copyright owners to place a copyright notice in a prominent place on their work. The copyright notice might include the © symbol, the name of the creator and the year the work was created.
What can be protected by copyright?
Copyright applies to original artistic works including sketches and patterns. Copyright protection may also be available for works of artistic craftsmanship such as one-off handmade garments or jewellery. Copyright doesn't apply to ideas, information, styles, techniques or names.
If you intend to mass-produce or make multiple copies of your product, you should rely on design law for the protection of your IP rather than copyright law. If you have multiple copies of your product, your ability to take action against someone who is reverse-engineering your product can be limited under copyright law.
There are some similarities between copyright and design legislation, and both pieces of legislation can be complex to interpret. You should consider contacting an IP professional before seeking to protect, publish or manufacture your work.
Last Updated: 13/12/2012