Copyright Information

Copyright is an intellectual property right which gives protection to the owner of the rights to an original work. This means that individuals who want to reproduce the original work of others may need to seek permission to do so. 

Categories of material are protected by copyright

Acts or activities are restricted under copyright

1. Literary (written, spoken or sung) and dramatic (dance, mime) works - include translations and adaptations (scripts for audio visual works), computer programs, periodical articles, tables and compilations
2. Typographical arrangement of published editions
3. Musical works (exclusive of words)
4. Artistic works - paintings, drawings, diagrams, illustrations, photos, maps, plans; photographs; sculptures, architecture (buildings and models of buildings)
5. Sound recordings
6. Films, videos, DVDs, Radio and TV broadcasts
1. Copying
2. Issuing copies to the public, renting or lending
3. Performing, showing or playing in public
4. Broadcasting
5. Adaptation or amendment of a work
6. Importing, distributing or acquiring infringing copies.
7. With regard to material which an individual produces under the terms of his or her employment, copyright usually rests with the employer unless there is a contract that states otherwise.
8. In submitting material for publication, an author often signs away copyright to the publisher of the book or journal in question.

Copyright Duration
Copyright applies to different types of work for varying periods of time as indicated below:

Type of work

Copyright expires after...

Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work

70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author died

Typographical arrangement of a published edition

25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published


50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the longest surviving of the following participants dies:
1. the principal director,
2. the author of the screenplay,
3. the author of the dialogue,
4. the composer of the music (created for and used in the film)

Sound recordings

50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was
published or
made available for the public,
whichever of these three acts is the latest

Copying Limits (Fair Dealing)
Some normally accepted limits are as follows: 


Accepted Limit


Up to 10% or one chapter of a book


Up to 10% or one article of a journal issue

Conference Proceeding

Up to 10% or one paper of a set of conference proceeding


Up to 10% or one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceeding


“Fair dealing” is the best known exception to copyright. It allows any individual to make photocopies of a “substantial” amount of a work under certain circumstances.

Permitted Copying from Literary, Dramatic, Artistic and Musical Works in the Pacific Region provides simplified information about fair dealing uses and educational exceptions in the Pacific Region.

The copy is not “fair” unless the answer to all three of the following questions is “yes”.

1. Does the copy preserve the legitimate commercial interests of the copyright owner? (For example, the user should not copy an item in an effort to avoid buying it).

2. Is the copy being made for the person doing the copying?

3. Is the copy for one of the following safe purposes?

4. Research of a non-commercial nature

5. Private study

6. Criticism or review

7. Reporting current events

8. For use in an examination

It is essential to give a full acknowledgement of the source of any material copied in this way wherever this is possible.