CIU111 – Copyright and Contracts

Welcome back! This week we are exploring the topic of Copyright & Contracts.

Despite the fact that I have not had a lot of experience dealing with copyright in the past, I have always felt that I had a decent level of understanding when it comes to the basics of both copyright, and contracts. However, upon reading this week’s lecture material, and attempting the contract based exercises in class, I quickly realised that my understanding of the concepts involved was pretty limited, and very little of it applied to my future work in the animation field.

(Common Sense Education, 2014)

The short video above explains the basics of copyright in an easy to understand manner. Also covering the 4 points of fair use, and some other handy tips about avoiding online copyright infringement, I found it explained these concepts in a very easy to understand manner. Great for a beginner like me!

When it comes to copyright in the animation industry, one thing to be aware of is who actually owns the copyright for a piece of work. If an animator creates a piece of work in their own time, then they own the copyright to that work.
“Corporate authorship” is one of the main exceptions to this. Corporate authorship occurs when the animator creates their work while under contract for someone else. The most common example of this is work created for a studio. When this is the case you are often compensated for your work in other ways, such as being paid a salary. (Kenny, 2011)

(Ted Goff Copyright Cartoon, 2003)

The other side of copyright law that it is important to be aware of involves plagiarism and using other people’s work. Essentially, any time that someone uses work that is not their own as part of their work, written permission must be given by the copyright owner to legally be able to use the work. On top of that, content creators that you might outsource parts of your project to such as audio design, acting performances, photography, costume design, and almost any other artistically created content, need to be fairly compensated to legally use their work. (acmi, n.d.)I have found further researching this weeks topic to be quite interesting. I now realise how important it is to be aware of the issues surrounding copyright and compensation in fields of work involving the arts.
Moving forward, this knowledge will help me to not only make sure that I am fairly compensated for my work, or the use of my work, but also to make sure artists whose work I reference in my own, or artists I collaborate with, are compensated fairly as well!

Thanks for reading!


acmi Generator, (n.d.). Copyright Law and Ethics. Retrieved from

Common Sense Education, (2014, September 5). Copyright and Fair Use Animation. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Ted Goff Copyright Cartoon [Image] (2013). Retrieved from

Kenny, C. (2011). Animators and the Law – Copyright. Retrieved from

Ruth, G. (2015). Exposure vs. Exploitation. Retrieved from


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