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Copyright & Intellectual Property

Copyright is the legal right of the owner of a work to have a say in how it may be used.


Key points:

  • Copyright is inherent in the production of a work (piece of writing, website, image, etc).
    • Assume any work you come across has copyright, and therefore restrictions on how you may use it.
  • Copyright exists automatically
    • You do not need to register a work for it to be copyrighted.
  • Copyright can be transferred.
    • The creator/author of a work may not be the copyright holder.
  • Copyright protects the form (writing, website, etc) NOT the idea itself.
    • Ideas may be subject to intellectual property agreements.
  • Copyright coexists and interacts with intellectual property and licencing agreements.
  • Fair use provisions allow limited use of copyrighted materials for research, study and other defined activities
    • (see the 'Copyright and using materials' tab).
  • Authors/creators may choose to waive some copyright protections (see Creative Commons)


Melbourne Health staff and students are expected to act in accordance with copyright and licencing obligations (Melbourne Health policy MH 13.07: Copyright Procedure )