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  Home . Copyright in NZ . Copyright Basics

Copyright Basics

What does copyright protect?


In New Zealand, copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, sound recordings, films, communication works and the typographical arrangement of published editions.

For more information, see our information sheet An introduction to copyright in New Zealand.

How do you get copyright protection?



Copyright comes into existence automatically under the Copyright Act 1994, when a work is put into material form e.g. manuscript, audio/video recording.

No registration is necessary (or even possible), nor is any other formality required for securing copyright protection.

How long does copyright last?



Copyright in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works continues for 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the author died.

Copyright in sound recordings and films continues for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which they were made. However, if the work is made available to the public before the end of that 50 year period, copyright continues for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first made available.

Copyright in a communication work continues for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was first communicated to the public. Copyright in a repeated communication work expires at the same time as copyright in the initial communication work expires.

A publisher's copyright in the typography of a published edition lasts for 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published.

 
Join the Copyright Council of New Zealand
The Copyright Council of New Zealand was incorporated in 1983 as a non-profit society to provide copyright and cultural based industries with a range of services including an interface with Government. It currently has 22 members representing a wide spectrum of copyright creators and owners.
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