Report of an investigation into copyright issues concerning the New Zealand Digital Library

Turner, K. (1997) Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato.

"Copyright protects expression. The Copyright Act of 1967 states that the items of expression can include literary, dramatic, and musical works; pantomimes and choreography; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; sound recordings; and architectural works. An original expression is eligible for copyright protection as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form" (Benedict O’Mahoney 1995). Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, perform or display their works. They also have the right to distribute their copyrighted work to the public by sale, transfer of ownership, rental, lease or by leading (Legal Information Institute 1994). The legal owner of the copyright is generally the author or creator of the work. However, in some cases the copyright is owned by employers (as in "Work for Hire" agreements), or a person or agency who has had the copyright to the work transferred to their authority (usually by purchasing the copyright) (Benedict O’Mahoney 1995). Generally, in the case of technical reports produced through academic institutions, the copyright is owned by the author(s). This is the status quo, but in some cases the authors do not own the rights to their works.