Intellectual Property and Copyright

What is intellectual property and copyright?

Copyright refers to the legal rights that result when ideas are captured in material form – such as in a book, a report or a software program. These rights give the creator - or copyright owner - the ability to control some ways in which the material is used. For example, the copyright owner can control by whom and in what way the original material is reproduced and communicated (other than to the extent that the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) allows reproduction and communication without the permission of the copyright owner).

Copyright is one kind of intellectual property, and the kind that we encounter most frequently. Other kinds of intellectual property are trade marks, patents, designs, circuit layout rights, plant breeder's rights and trade secrets. 

See the Department's Copyright Guidelines for Victorian Government Schools (pdf - 334.03kb).

Why do we need to manage IP?

Our ability to use others’ intellectual property has increased with developments in technology – as has other people’s ability to use the Department’s IP. It is increasingly important that we understand how to use others’ IP. One reason is to help us manage our copyright costs effectively and another is to avoid copyright infringement. At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect the Department’s IP.

Policy and principles

A key reference document for all staff is the Department's Information Privacy Policy.

More information

This page links to information specifically developed for students, school-based staff and non school-based staff.

For information not covered in the site, email