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The following resource was prepared with reference to the Architecture, Building Design and Copyright (2016) publication by the Australian Copyright Council. The information below outlines the basic concepts of copyright, discusses some common areas of infringement and how to protect the intellectual property of an architectural practice.
In Australia, copyright law is regulated by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (the Act) and court decisions which have applied and interpreted the Act.
Copyright can be created in a variety of work product produced by an architect. Any drawing or sketch, whether produced by hand or CAD software, is considered an artistic work in which copyright subsists. Further, computer renderings in virtual tours will be protected by copyright as an artistic work and the footage – including the sound and moving images - in the virtual tour is likely to be protected by copyright, separately, as a cinematographic film.