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7.3 Intellectual property rights


Government agencies must be aware of their rights and obligations under intellectual property laws – including copyright, trademarks and moral rights - to ensure they both protect the interests of government and avoid infringing the rights of others. Agencies should be mindful that copyright applies to a wide range of formats, from printed material to contributions to websites (user-generated content).

The copyright in materials created by Tasmanian Government employees in the course of their employment and by any other person under the direction or control of the Crown is owned by the Crown, except by prior agreement to the contrary. Note that copyright ownership rests with the Crown, not with individual agencies or officers.

Intellectual property rights should be considered when establishing partnerships between the Crown and third parties.


Copyright provides legal protection for people who produce things like writing, images, music and films by preventing others from doing certain things - such as copying and making available online - without permission (Source: Australian Copyright Council, <>, accessed 16 July 2010).

Moral rights are the rights of individual creatorsin relation to copyright works or films they have created. Moral rights are separate from the ‘economic rights’ of the copyrightowner, such as the right to reproduce the work or communicate it to the public. Moral rights protect against the derogatory treatment of works such as failing to attribute the owner of moral rights and not allowing the work to be changed. The creator of a work, who holds moral rights, is not necessarily the owner of copyright in the work (Source: Australian Copyright Council, Information sheet G043 Moral Rights, June 2006).

Trademarks are a word, phrase, letter, number, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or a combination of these used to protect a brand name and distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. (Source: IP Australia, <, accessed 16 July 2010).

Policy requirements

Agencies must:


Administrator Crown Copyright
Department of Justice

Phone: 6233 6401