VIC What constitutes “I.P” and how is this protected with online course programmes?

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Active Member
21 October 2017
Question: How is ownership of I.P of online course programmes determined?

I have been teaching specific content around a certain topic since 2014.

I have also taught this content at specific events. One such event was attended by an individual who had come to learn this content that I was teaching. This individual approached me and offered to create an online website to house my I.P. with the agreement that if I was happy with the service we could consider running a business together. This individual created the website and did not add anything to the content and has not subsequently taught this content.

The business partnership has now ended and my business partner is stating that we co-created this programme.

Throughout the course of this joint business a monthly amount was put into a seperate business bank account which is solely owned by me, from the joint business which in the profit and loss account is attributed to the purpose of payment for use of I.P.

However, there is nothing in writing to determine what the content of this I.P was.

There are multiple cases online of myself being interviewed in various media on the subject of this content since 2014 and the specific course content has been the nature of my business since since 2000.

On this basis, with nothing in writing regarding the ownership of this content who legally owns this content/I.P?

Any help would be appreciated.

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
Copyright is generally established by first publication of an original work. While copyright can be assigned, the simple online publishing of a copyrighted work does not give another person an interest in the work - whether with permission or not. It would take something further to establish a claim of (at least) partial ownership.

It also needs to be considered to what degree the work is originally yours, and what is information obtained from other sources. You cannot claim copyright on the idea or the source information, but instead on the particular expression of the idea or information.

Given there is "nothing in writing", and you have evidence of prior publication of the work, then in the absence of any agreement about the assignment or use of the copyright it is retained by the original author.