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Can I use copyright-protected content in my own work?



Generally, you need to obtain permission or a licence to use a copyright-protected work before using it.

The owner of a copyright work has the exclusive right to prohibit others from using that work, so all other persons may use that work only if:

  • they obtain permission to use the work – whether directly from the copyright owner or through the relevant collective management organisation managing the relevant rights in that work;

  • an exception under the Copyright Act 2021 applies (e.g., the “fair use” exception under sections 190 – 194); or

  • the work is in the public domain – this happens when the copyright in the work has expired (e.g., copyright in musical works expire 70 years after the death of the author).

You may refer to the Copyright Infopack for more details on the above.

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