Well if I find poetry or prose on the internet why can't I use it ?
Because you may be breaking the law!
And this is an issue for all ceremonies, not just weddings.
Copyright applies to the use of other people's work, whether that be literature, poetry, prose, commercial, educational or other information, music, lyrics, photographs, images, film. video or other form's of people's work.
Reading from books one has purchased is not breaking copyright, as that is considered "performance" at private ceremonies that have been given exemption.
However typing up poetry or prose, storing this in one's computer or on discs etc, emailing or printing is considered "publishing" and thus copyright rules apply.
Issues covered are:
1. Why should marriage celebrants be aware of copyright law?
2. What is copyright?
- Music and lyrics
- Film footage
- Poetry and other literary and dramatic works
- Performers' rights:
3. Why do I need to get permission or obtain a licence?
4. How do I identify the copyright owner?
5. Whom do I contact for a licence?
6. Can I make a back-up copies of a sound recording or copy music onto a CD?
7. Do I still need a licence if I obtain music off the Internet?
Copyright issues for marriage celebrants - Information Sheet - September 2002
Provided on this section of the AG's website is this fact sheet, which can be downloaded.
The Marriage Celebrant Section cautions that this fact sheet provides general information only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.
Copyright Law Branch
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department
Telephone: (02) 6250 6312
Facsimile: (02) 6250 5929