Resources for obtaining permission

Australian copyright collecting societies

You can obtain a licence to perform most musical works in public from the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).

If you wish to play a sound recording in public (for example, play a music CD at a public event) you will need to obtain a licence from the APRA and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia.

You may obtain a licence to copy some artistic works from Viscopy.

Locating copyright owners

Sometimes it can be very difficult to identify the copyright owner. Library staff may be able to help locate the full bibliographic details of the material in question. There are very few short cuts, however, and finding the copyright owner will simply take patience and methodical searching.

Resources that may be of use include:

Contacting copyright owners

Some company websites provide facilities and procedures for obtaining permission to use their materials, such as Microsoft:

Buying materials

Some companies offer material for sale via the web.

Shareware / Freeware

Some websites offer free material if you agree to comply with their terms and conditions. There is some risk involved in using these materials, as it may be difficult to determine whether the copyright owners have authorized the use of their material.

The following websites are a very small example of some the resources available online:

Public domain materials

You may use material as you wish if all layers of copyright have expired.

There are a number of websites that provide access to copyright expired, or 'public domain' materials. You must establish that all layers of copyright have expired before you rely on such websites, as in some cases the websites may contain material that is still protected by copyright. Furthermore, material that is in the public domain in one country may still be protected by copyright in Australia, as many countries have legislated differing lengths of copyright protection.

The following websites are a very small example of some the resources available online:

Content by Copyright & Digitisation Officer