Arts Law Information Sheet


Copyright provides a way for artists to protect and monetise their creativity. Knowing how to license copyright and earn a royalty gives artists a way to make money from their work. This information sheet will introduce you to some of the copyright basics.

In this information sheet:

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Copyright is an important asset of creators that gives them legal rights and opportunities to generate income irrespective of the ownership of their physical creation, and irrespective even whether that creation still exists. This information sheet provides basic information on copyright, including dealing with copyright.

Copyright is a bundle of economic rights which give their owner the exclusive right to do certain things in relation to the object it protects.

Copyright protection is automatic upon creation of the work. There is no need to register a work in some official register. The symbol © is used for notification purposes, to put people on notice that the work is protected by copyright, but is not required for the protection to exist. Read on for more information and for helpful links to other organisations.

Arts Law has a number of sample copyright licences, as well as an information sheet on ‘Copyright infringement and letter of demand'. 

Need more help?

If you have questions about any of the topics discussed above please contact Arts Law.


The information in this information sheet is general. It does not constitute, and should be not relied on as, legal advice. The Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law) recommends seeking advice from a qualified lawyer on the legal issues affecting you before acting on any legal matter.

While Arts Law tries to ensure that the content of this information sheet is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant its accuracy, adequacy or completeness. Arts Law is not responsible for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this information sheet. To the extent permitted by law, Arts Law excludes any liability, including any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this information sheet.

© Arts Law Centre of Australia

You may photocopy this information sheet for a non-profit purpose, provided you copy all of it, and you do not alter it in any way. Check you have the most recent version by contacting us on (02) 9356 2566 or tollfree outside Sydney on 1800 221 457.

The Arts Law Centre of Australia has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Australian Government - Australia Council for the Arts