Reading time: 5 minutes

If you have produced online or physical content, you may want to protect your work from being copied. Copyright protection in Australia is automatic upon creating original work and does not require registration or any additional actions to gain this protection. Likewise, copyright notices are not a legal requirement in Australia. However, you can typically see these notices on most websites and published materials. Therefore, you may want to consider placing a copyright notice on your own work as well as take additional measures to protect your work. This article will discuss copyright notices, the phrase “All Rights Reserved”, and copyright duration and infringement.

Guide to Protecting Your Brand

Your business’ brand represents your values, identity and reputation. Learn how to create a successful brand and protect it.

Download Now

Copyright Notices

The copyright notice typically includes the following information in any particular order. It will contain the:

  • symbol ©;
  • name of the copyright owner; and 
  • year of first publication.

For example, a copyright notice could be any of the following:

  • © LegalVision Pty Ltd 2021; or
  • Copyright 2021 LegalVision Pty Ltd.

You may have seen copyright notices with the letter “P” in a circle or in brackets instead of the “C”. This symbol indicates that the copyrighted material is a sound recording. 

All Rights Reserved 

You may occasionally see the phrase “All Rights Reserved” in addition to the copyright notice. In some cases, the copyright owner will leave out the copyright notice entirely. Given that neither the copyright notice nor the phrase “All Rights Reserved” is legally required in Australia, this is a personal choice and has no legal implications. However, a practical implication of not including this is that people may unwittingly breach your copyright material. Note that this scenario is not uncommon.

For example, you may notice this phrasing in the copyright notice on some websites, like Gumtree and eBay. It will typically look like:

  • Copyright 2021 LegalVision Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved.

Benefit of Using the Phrase “All Rights Reserved”

This phrase indicates to viewers that they reserve all of the rights granted to them under copyright law. A practical benefit from using this phrase may be that readers unfamiliar with copyright notices may become deterred from using your materials. 

For example, Emma wants to set up an online business selling beauty products. Accordingly, she decides to look at eBay to see how similar businesses market their products. As she browses, she thinks it would be helpful to screenshot and use some of these photos. However, she notices the term “All Rights Reserved” at the bottom of the page and decides against this. 

Copyright Duration

The general rule is that copyright lasts during the author’s lifetime and for an additional seventy years after their death. However, the total duration of copyright varies as the general rule is subject to certain requirements. Additionally, the rule will also depend on the type of copyright material. This can range from the type of media to whether the material is government copyright material. 

For example, works where the author is unknown have a different copyright period than works where the author is known. Works where the author is known but the publication date was within or outside of 50 years of being made will also affect copyright durations. You can find useful guidance on how many years copyright law may protect on the Australian Copyright Council’s website.

Copyright Infringement 

If you believe someone is infringing your copyright or you are worried about infringing someone else’s copyright, you should consider what options are available. Infringement can be both direct and indirect, and there are various remedies available, such as a cease and desist letter. 

A cease and desist letter is typically the first step when a party has infringed or breached another’s rights. It will typically include a:

  1. notification that the other party is participating in an activity that they should not be, like infringing your intellectual property rights;
  2. demand that the other party ‘cease and desist’ their conduct;
  3. warning that if they do not stop their activity, there is a possibility of further legal action.

In practice, the delivery of a cease and desist letter is often enough to deter another party from continuing to infringe your copyright. This is particularly the case where a party was unaware of their infringement. However, note that this is not always the case as it ultimately depends on the breach and each party’s stance. 

Key Takeaways

Copyright protection in Australia is free and automatic. Hence, you do not legally need to include a copyright notice on your website. However, a copyright notice, in addition to a website terms of use, is a useful way of deterring potential copyright infringement. Additionally, a copyright notice will typically include the symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication. For more information concerning copyright, contact LegalVision’s IP lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What legal effect does the phrase “All Rights Reserved” have?

In some cases, a copyright owner will include the phrase, “All Rights Reserved” alongside a copyright notice. Given that neither the copyright notice nor the phrase “All Rights Reserved” is legally required in Australia, this is a personal choice and has no legal implications. However, including this wording on your website, for example, may be a good deterrent to those thinking of copying your work.

How long does copyright last?

The general rule is that copyright lasts during the author’s lifetime and for an additional seventy years after their death. 

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards