Guides for staff and students

It is University policy to comply with copyright law.

Griffith staff and students will find information on their copyright compliance obligations in the copyright guides below.

Griffith staff or students who are found to have intentionally or repeatedly violated the copyright rights of others may be denied access to the University's computing and networking facilities and resources. In addition, a person may be penalized according to the provisions laid out in the Student Misconduct Policy or the misconduct procedures within the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreements for Griffith staff.

Disclaimer for Griffith University's website

While Griffith University endeavours to provide accurate material on its website this material is provided "as-is" and Griffith University makes no representations about the suitability of this material for any purpose.

Griffith University disclaims all warranties with regard to this material and there is no guarantee given as to accuracy or currency of any individual item on the website. Griffith University does not accept responsibility for any damage or loss occasioned by the use of the material on the website nor from any access to the website. All access and use is at the risk of the user.

Griffith University reserves the right to change, at any time without notice, any material on the website.

Any information provided in relation to courses are an expression of interest only and are not to be taken as a firm offer or undertaking. Users should refer to originating bodies or departments for confirmation of the accuracy of material.

Copyright for Griffith University's website

Copyright © Griffith University.

Griffith University claims copyright ownership of all material on this website unless expressly stated otherwise. No part of the program nor the material contained in it may be copied (except as allowed by the copyright law of your country) or further disseminated without the express and written permission of Griffith University. To seek copyright permission, email: copyright-permissions@griffith.edu.au.

Copyright notices for Griffith University's website

The University's Designated Representative for the purpose of receiving notifications from third parties in relation to content transmitted, cached, hosted or referred to on the Griffith network is the Chief Technology Officer.

For full contact details, please view the current Chief Technology Officer's entry in the Griffith phone book.

Please follow the University's Take Down Notice Procedure.

About Copyright

Copyright law determines when and how you can copy, publish, communicate or perform works that others have created. Copyright begins once a work has been created and requires no formal registration.

What does copyright protect?

  • book chapters, journal and newspaper articles, documents
  • letters, poetry, song lyrics, interviews
  • internet material such as YouTube videos, images, podcasts, webpages, blogs
  • films, music, videos, radio, TV broadcasts
  • photos, diagrams, graphs
  • paintings, sketches, drawings, sculpture, pottery, engravings
  • fabric prints, weave patterns, tattoos
  • plans, maps, buildings, models of buildings
  • published editions, research data, computer programs

How long does copyright last for?

Generally copyright in a work lasts for the life of the author and 70 years. But often works will have shorter periods of duration. For example, if a photo was taken before 1 January 1955, the copyright has already expired, but if taken after, it lasts for the life of the photographer and 70 years.

For copyright duration pertaining to each type of work see Australian Copyright Council’s "Duration of Copyright" guide. For assistance contact the Information Policy Officer.

Who owns the copyright?

Normally the creator owns the copyright on creating the work. The easiest way to find the copyright owner is to look for the © symbol on the work. For example, © 2019 Griffith University. Here Griffith University owns the copyright, and the copyright began in 2019.

As the employer, Griffith University owns the copyright in scholarly works (such as articles and research data), educational materials, creative works, and software created by academic and general staff under their employment. For more detail, see Griffith's Intellectual Property Policy

Particular research funding agreements can also determine copyright ownership.

When two or more people make significant contributions to a work, there is joint copyright ownership.

In the Creative Arts, works are sometimes produced outside the scope of employment. In addition, grants supporting the production of creative works are sometimes only awarded to individuals and not a University.

For clarity on ownership, speak with your Director, or the Information Policy Officer.

Copyright ownership and publishing

In academic publishing, copyright is often transferred from the creator to the publisher by contract.  However this can be negotiated, as copyright transfer is not essential for publication. As publishers normally seek copyright ownership in publishing agreements, Griffith allows staff to sign over (assign) Griffith's copyright to the publisher.

Student copyright

RHDs and students normally own the copyright in their essays, theses, articles, assignments and creative works. Staff should seek permission to use their work.

Commercialising copyright

Griffith encourages the commercialisation of copyright and other IP by providing incentives to staff.  For further information, see Griffith's Intellectual Property Policy, or contact the Information Policy Officer or Griffith Enterprise.

Copyright ownership in teaching materials

As the employer, Griffith owns the copyright in educational materials staff create.  If academic staff leave to teach elsewhere, Griffith grants the staff member a licence to use the educational materials (they individually created whilst working at Griffith) in their new position.  Staff should acknowledge that the educational materials were created at Griffith University.

For more detail, see Griffith's Intellectual Property Policy.

Need help?

Advice and support

The Information Policy Officer provides copyright advice and training across Griffith University for staff and students. Contact the Information Policy Officer by emailing copyright@griffith.edu.au or phoning (0)7 3735 5695.

  • Reading List Service digitises and makes readings available online for students through Learning@Griffith in a copyright compliant way.
  • The Library assists with supplying movies and TV material for teaching in a copyright compliant way.
  • Griffith Enterprise advises on ownership and development of potentially commercial copyright, inventions and other IP created by staff and students.

Common questions