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.
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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 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.