Copyright statements

As long as they follow the copyright requirements in the New Zealand Government Web Usability Standard, Government organisations subject to that Standard can modify or supplement their own copyright statements as required.

Crown entities and State Owned Enterprises should note that they are not part of the “Crown“ in its legal sense and are expressly excluded from the definition of “Crown“ in the Copyright Act. As such, while they do own copyright in their original works, it is not “Crown copyright“. Accordingly, they should not use the phrase “Crown copyright“ in their copyright statements.

Rationale

Consistent with the Policy Framework for New Zealand Government-held Information, Government organisations are encouraged to:

  • make information available easily, widely and equitably to the people of New Zealand (except where reasons preclude such availability as specified in legislation); and
  • where wide dissemination is desirable, permit use of material in which they own the copyright, subject to acknowledgement of source.

In alignment with the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, Government organisations are also encouraged to apply the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework when selecting the licensing terms to apply. For guidance on applying NZGOAL to your website copyright statement, see NZGOAL Guidance Note 1: Website copyright statements.

Requirements for copyright statements

The NZ Government Web Usability Standard requirements for copyright statements are as follows:

2.3 Copyright

2.3.1 Each website must contain a general copyright statement that:

  • is visibly linked to from the website home page;
  • states that copyright material on the website is protected by copyright; and,
  • sets out the licensing terms under which that material can be re-used by others.

2.3.2 Each website that contains third party copyright material must state, within the copyright statement required by section 2.3.1:

  • the source and copyright status of such material in a way that avoids ambiguity as to which content items are subject to third party copyright;
  • that the website’s re-use license does not apply to material that is subject to third party copyright; and,
  • that permission to re-use third party copyright material cannot be given by the New Zealand Government organisation responsible for the website.

2.3.3 The copyright statement required by section 2.3.1 should state that the general licensing terms do not apply to material on the website that is covered by the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981.

2.3.4 The New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL) should be applied when selecting the licensing terms that apply to copyright material on the website.

Third party copyright

Government organisations are not entitled to reproduce third party copyright material on their websites without permission from the copyright owners (either directly or, in some cases, through licensees who have the right to sub-license) as reproduction without permission would constitute copyright infringement. In such cases, the organisation is obliged to seek permission to use third party material from the relevant copyright owners.

Such material on an organisation’s website includes:

  • content presented as items sourced from a third party;
  • downloadable items sourced from a third party; and
  • content “pulled in“ (e.g., by web feed) from websites outside the ownership of the agency.

Particular care should be taken when reproducing material from third party websites that those sites make available by web feed. The mere production by a website of a web feed does not entitle others to republish copyright-protected material in that feed without the copyright owner’s permission.

Example copyright statement #1

[Crown] copyright ©. Unless otherwise indicated, the material available on this website is protected by [Crown] copyright. You can reproduce this [Crown] copyright material free of charge without further permission, as long as you:

  • reproduce the material accurately
  • do not use the material in a derogatory manner or a misleading context, and
  • acknowledge the source and copyright status of the material.

The permission to use Crown copyright material does not extend to any material on this site that is identified as being the copyright of a third party.

Please note that this licence does not apply to any logos, emblems and trade marks on the website or to the website’s design elements. Those specific items may not be re-used without express permission.

Example copyright statement #2

The following example applies the NZGOAL framework and uses a Creative Commons licence.

[Crown copyright / Copyright] ©. Copyright material on the [name of website] is protected by copyright owned by [name of agency [on behalf of the Crown]] [or its licensors]. Unless indicated otherwise for specific items or collections of content (either below or within specific items or collections), this copyright material is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the material, as long as you attribute it to [name of agency/licensor] and abide by the other licence terms. Please note that this licence does not apply to any logos, emblems and trade marks on the website or to the website’s design elements [or to any photography and imagery]. Those specific items may not be re-used without express permission.