Copying of Documents and Copyright

Even though Council has extensive obligations under NSW legislation to release information it holds, it must also abide by the Copyright Act 1968 administered by the Australian Government.  This means that the form of access to information may be restricted e.g. view only and not copied.  Building designs, construction plans, consultant reports and various publications are common examples of information that fall into this category.

The copyright legislation protects intellectual property rights which are automatically created when literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other works covered by the Act are created.  This means copyright may be infringed by using copyright material without the permission of the copyright owner. Significant penalties for breaches can be applied.

Restrictions on use under the Copyright Act include reproducing material, making the material public for the first time and communicating the material to the public e.g. via email or the internet.  Reproducing material includes photocopying, copying by hand, photographing, filming, recording and scanning.  Such uses are exclusive rights of the copyright owner, therefore anyone who wants to use the material of others in such ways generally needs the permission of the owner.

If Council can supply copies of documents without breaching copyright provisions, fees for copying the material may apply.  Details on fees are outlined in the Burwood Council Fees and Charges(PDF, 1MB) policy.