Ghostwriting and Copyright in Australia
Mar / 01

Ghostwriting and Copyright in Australia

Sharon Givoni Consulting Intellectual Property

Who Owns Copyright – Ghostwriting

There is a good chance that if you are reading this you have either entered into a ghostwriting agreement or are considering hiring a writer to create that story you have been burning to tell. However, you probably also wish to know if getting someone else to write said story means you will not retain the copyright in the work.

Simply put, you keep the copyright, but it is not always that simple.

What is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is quite common and it is highly likely you have probably read something written by someone else other than the person whose name appears on the cover.

Many people hire a writer to write their stories for a variety of reasons. This could be because they do not have the writing skills to bring their vision to life. Or because they do not have enough time to settle down and put their thoughts onto paper.

So some people decide to enter the business transaction that is ghostwriting. Together the writer and the purchaser create a final product. The writer is compensated for the time and energy required to produce the work and the purchaser sees their story enter the world.

For example, Yoram Symons has been writing for years and has many examples of great pieces. For more information on ghostwriting in general or if you’re interested in a ghostwriter, contact him here.

The question is though when it comes to ghostwriting and copyright in Australia, who retains the copyright in the work?

Ghostwriting and Copyright

Ghostwriting and Copyright

In most cases the copyright for a ghostwritten work goes to the person purchasing the work and the writer does not retain any claim to the work due to the existence of an agreement or contract.

Sometimes the writer may keep the copyright for personal use or for portfolio purposes, however, this is rare.

Copyright may not always reside in the purchaser, however. A poorly written contract or not having a contract at all will cause issues. Typically a ghostwriting agreement lays out who retains the copyright in the work.

If you don’t have an agreement or contract, the law states that the author or a work owns copyright meaning the writer. The ghostwriter will retain the copyright in the work unless an agreement or contract states otherwise.

It is always extremely important you read any agreement carefully to make sure you retain the copyright in your works.

For assistance with ghostwriting agreements and copyright issues in general, please contact us at Sharon Givoni Consulting.