Copyright Guidelines

Copyright guidelines – Overview

copyright owner is the person or company which owns the rights in a work or other subject-matter. In many instances the author of a work will be the owner of copyright; however, this need not be the case if:

  • The author has agreed terms which says that someone else will own copyright (for example depending on the contract signed between the party commissioning a geotechnical report and the party publishing the report, then copyright ownership may sit with the commissioning Data Owner or by the Data Publisher); or
  • The work was made by, or under the direction or control of, or was first published by the Commonwealth Government, or a State or Territory government (but not councils). See below for more information.

Copyright ownership rules may be varied by agreement. Copyright owners may exercise rights themselves or may give permission to other people to do so. Such permission is referred to as a licence. Copyright owners may grant a licence that is subject to certain conditions such as the payment of a fee or royalty or limit the licence as to time, place or purpose.

Published guides to Copyright are available here: https://www.communications.gov.au/documents/short-guide-copyright and here https://www.copyright.org.au/

Government commissioned work

The Australian Government and State or Territory Governments own the copyright in materials which are made by or first published under their direction or control. Further information about the use Australian Government copyright materials is available here.

Unless there is an agreement dealing with copyright between you and the government, the government will own copyright if the work was made, or was first published, under its direction or control.

Copyright expiry

You generally need permission to use copyright material in particular ways – for example, to copy it or put it on a website – during the life of the copyright. Once copyright has expired, anyone may use that material without needing copyright clearances or permissions. Material in which copyright has expired is sometimes referred to as being in the “public domain” which is then free for anyone to use, for any purpose.

If the copyright owner is the Commonwealth, State or Territory government, copyright lasts for 50 years from the year in which the material was made, or the end of the year of first publication. Note that this rule applies to copyright material that is owned by the government, and also applies to material that would have been owned by the government, but for an agreement to the contrary.

Copyright considerations when using GeoReports

Under the GeoReports classification system, there are three main data-providing parties as shown below:

Choosing an appropriate Licence

The choice of publishing Licence when uploading data to the platform or specifying in a Data Sharing Agreement depends on the amount of Data Openness required.  Data Openness describes the general copyright grouping which governs publication and re-use and includes Open, Shared or Closed data Licence categories.  During the upload process, the Data Uploader first selects an appropriate data openness Licence category which controls dataset visibility, access and then specific a Licence Type and conditions such as attribution requirements, sharing restrictions and whether data can be modified or re-sold.

A summary of Licence Categories is shown below in order of increasing Data Openness.

A guide to Creative Commons Shared data Licence Types is shown below in order of decreasing data openness.

Further information about Creative Commons Licences is available here.

Data Sharing Agreements

In cases where datasets have shared IP interests between Data Owners, Data Publishers and/or Data Uploaders, then Interested Parties are required to agree and document and submit a Data Sharing Agreement when uploading data for re-publishing through GeoReports.com.au. This may cross reference or alternatively revoke pre-existing agreements and/or licence conditions between interested parties, such as contract terms agreed to between Data Owner and Data Publisher at the time of commissioning the dataset or investigation report.

For convenience, an example Data Sharing Agreement template is provided here for adaptation as appropriate.  Further considerations when using Data Sharing Agreements are provided below:

  • The example GeoReports Data Sharing Agreement template is provided to assist Data Owners, Data Publishers and Data Uploaders in managing data licencing and data sharing rights in the case that shared ownership, intellectual property and/or commercial interests apply to the Datasets.
  • Where Data Owners, Data Publishers and Data Publishers are not the same entity, then copies of this signed agreement should then be provided to all interested parties and submitted to GeoReports with the Dataset when uploading to GeoReports.com.au.
  • Depending on the original Contract Terms agreed between Data Owner and Data Publisher and on the limitations, qualifications and copyright statements published with each original Dataset, the intellectual property, copyright, commercial and publishing rights may sit with one or both parties, and potentially other stakeholders such as managing agents. The intent of the example Data Sharing Agreement template is to provide non-exclusive data sharing and copyright licencing rights between the Data Owner and Data Publisher to facilitate the upload and dissemination of nominated Datasets according to Agreed Licencing Conditions.
  • The Data Sharing Agreement Template does not include consideration of commercial arrangements between Interested Parties or the Data Uploader. Royalties payable by Data Users in relation to downloaded data are payable to the Data Uploader according to the GeoReports Pricing Framework; it is necessary for Interested Parties to Agree Commercial Terms and distribution of royalties with eachother under a separate Agreement.
  • By uploading Data to GeoReports.com.au, the Data Uploader accepts the GeoReports Pty Ltd Terms of Use which require that suitable copyright licencing or data sharing agreements are in place between Interested Parties and to facilitate re-publishing of Data, thereby releasing the Data Uploader from copyright infringement. In all cases, GeoReports Pty Ltd accepts no responsibility for, or liability arising from, copyright infringement for material uploaded by others for sharing through GeoReports.com.au.
  • Along with any Data Sharing Agreement, it is necessary to include a Licence Statement (see below).

Licence Statement

A Dataset Licence Statement will be appended to every Dataset and is viewable in the web map when clicking on each Data Point or Data Report. Within it, a Licence Statement must be provided by the Uploader and may include a copyright notice, limitation of liability and attribution as appropriate for the copyright conditions.

The Licence Statement is a 1 page summary of agreed licence conditions for each dataset and may include provisions relating to:

  • COPYRIGHT NOTICE (identifying who the dataset is licenced by and the relevant Licence type, (i.e. Creative Commons Licence type CC BY 4.0))
  • ATTRIBUTION (identifying the dataset attribution when re-publishing the data including copyright owner and/or optionally other interested parties)
  • LIMITATION OF LIABILITY (a statement identifying the extent to which the data providers may or may not be held liable by users of the Data)

An Example Licence Statement automatically generated by GeoReports from the information provided by the Data Uploader during the upload process is available here.

EXAMPLE#1 for public sharing: “This geotechnical log and its associated data (the Document) is licensed by XYZ Pty Ltd under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (CCBY 4.0). When reusing the Document, in whole or in part, you must attribute XYZ Pty Ltd as follows: “(c) XYZ Pty Ltd, licensed under the CC BY 4.0 Licence”. This licence does not apply to the XYZ Pty Ltd logo or trademarks.”

EXAMPLE#2 for restricted sharing: “Copyright of material in this Dataset is the property of XYZ Pty Ltd who used a degree of care, skill and diligence normally exercised by consulting engineers in similar circumstances and locality. No other warranty expressed or implied is made or intended. The Data Owner and Data Publisher are licenced to use any part of this report in accordance with the conditions of the Data Sharing Agreement signed by those parties.”

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