Architects and copyright

Read time: 10 minutes

Copyright protects specific categories of works, one of which is artistic works. Architectural drawings, models of buildings, completed buildings, and photographs of buildings and models of buildings are all regarded as 'artistic works' as defined in s10(1) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (the Act):

Copyright is an intellectual property right separate to the property right in the physical material.

For further information about copyright, see Acumen note Copyright.

Page contents:

  1. How do architects obtain copyright protection for their designs?
  2. Is it necessary to use the © symbol on drawings and other documents?
  3. Are ideas protected by copyright?
  4. Do architects have moral rights?
  5. What rights does the client have?
  6. What should the architect do if approached to take over another architect's project before completion to protect against possible copyright or moral-rights infringement?