Ownership of copyright in the design of a website

If you wish to engage a website designer to design a website, you should ensure that you have a written agreement with the website designer specifying who will own the copyright in any text, illustrations, music, film footages, software and graphics. You should also specify who will be responsible for obtaining copyright clearances for any of the above materials used on the website.

If you do not own copyright in the above copyright works, you should clearly specify how you can use the various elements in the website. This is particularly important because if you wish to make any modification to anything on the site in the future you may require the permission of the copyright owner.

Whilst copyright in the music itself may have expired and is in the public domain, copyright may still subsist in the sound recording which embodies the music. Even if you play a very small section of the music on your website you may still need the permission of the copyright owner if a recognisable or distinguishable part of the music is being used.

Further information

If you have any queries, please contact Legal Services for advice on 9479 2495.

This article provides general information only. It is not a complete or definitive statement of the law on the subject matter. Formal legal advice should be sought in relation to particular matters.