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Entering the design world, it is important for myself and my fellow peers to understand the world of copyright in regards to design work. Whilst reviewing the Australian Copyright Council's informational pdf in regards to Graphic Designers and Copyright, I was able to educate myself in regards to what is and isn't covered by copyright under the 1968 Copyright Act.
Drawings, logos, photographs and visual images are generally protected by copyright. However, ideas, styles and/or techniques are not. The ownership of copyright changes according to the circumstances in which the work was made. Copyright protects artistic works, musical works, dramatic works, broadcasts, sound recordings, films and published editions.
Stylized typographical logos are considered an artistic work, and are protected by copyright to the respective author. Copyright protection is automatic and free. It is applied automatically once you have created the work. There is no formal procedure to apply copyright. However, you can issue said copyright notice by applying the copyright symbol followed by the name of the copyright owner and the year.
If works are commissioned by Commonwealth, State or Territory governments, then the work would be owned by the respective government. This does not apply to local governments and are handled the same as commissioned works.
If a designer, like myself, is commissioned to create a work, the designer will own copyright, unless agreed to in writing. Finding this out now, I have a few clients I will have to issue a transfer of copyright to...
Death of the author + 70 years is when copyright expires. There are exceptions to this, but are not detailed in the pdf.
You cannot copyright an idea until it has been written down or expressed in a material form. I knew this already, and it is why I have remained silent about my Final Project plans as I do not want my project stolen.
Works of art that have been commissioned by clients will need to discuss with you in order to present them on your own portfolio. There is also no rule that states a percentage of an image found or used where the copyright is owned by someone else is allowed.
Despite the information given during a Typography lecture, using a typeface that holds copyright without licence, you may be liable for breach of copyright.
Further information can be found at copyright.org.au
This information has been incredibly helpful for myself to move forward as a freelance graphic designer entering the world. I have never previously issued a copyright transferal document. I will definitely be applying this practice in the future.
Graphic Designers & Copyright. (2019). Retrieved 5 December 2019, from http://www.copyright.org.au/ACC_Prod/ACC/Information_Sheets/Graphic_Designers___Copyright.aspx