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Intellectual property policy

The Intellectual property policy is the State's framework for the ownership and management of its intellectual property (IP), and use of IP belonging to other parties.

Intellectual property policy

The policy intent is that:

  • the State grants rights to its intellectual property, as a public asset, in a manner that maximises its impact, value, accessibility and benefit consistent with the public interest; and
  • the State acquires or uses third party intellectual property in a transparent and efficient way, while upholding the law and managing risk appropriately.

The policy includes important principles dealing with management of IP, commercialisation, procurement and other matters. The policy emphasises the importance of granting rights to State IP in a flexible manner.

Whole of Victorian Government Intellectual Property Policy - Intent and Principles - August 2012
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The Intellectual property guidelines for the Victorian Public Sector (IP Guidelines) guide implementation of the policy, including IP management, Creative Commons licensing, procurement, commercialisation and the use of third-party IP.

Intellectual Property Guidelines for the Victorian Public Sector - Version 1.1
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The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) provides the State with a statutory licence to use third-party works for the services of the State. Under this provision, the State has in place agreements with the following copyright collecting societies:

  • Copyright Agency – for copies of works (for example, newspaper articles, journal articles and books).
  • Screenrights – for copies of certain audio-visual material, such as broadcasts.

All departments and many agencies are subject to the agreements with the collecting societies and may make government copies of third-party copyright material for the services of the State. The Copyright Agency agreement additionally licenses the communication and sharing of certain material internal to government.

Refer to the fact sheet to learn more:

Fact sheet - Agreements with Copyright Agency and Screenrights
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Note that not all uses of copyright material are captured by these agreements, particularly the communication of material to the public (for example, making material available on websites). Refer to the IP guidelines for more detail.

Creative Commons

Victorian departments and agencies are encouraged to adopt policies about the use of Creative Commons licences on their websites, annual reports, publications and other material released to the public. The appropriate use of Creative Commons licences improves access to public sector information and is consistent with the policy.

Chapter 5 of the IP Guidelines provides further information and recommendations on applying Creative Commons licences.

Further support and information

Departments and agencies are encouraged to seek additional support by contacting the IP policy team. Requests for staff training relating to the policy are also welcome.

VPS staff with an interest in IP are encouraged to join the Innovation Network group Intellectual Property Community of Practice.

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