Permissions & Copyright


Making a permission request

If you would like to reproduce any material from a HarperCollins Australia title or a Working Title Press title approval must be sought from our Permissions Department. This is done by submitting an email request to [email protected]. Permission requests sent through the post will not be accepted. Upon receiving your email we will send you confirmation of receipt via return email.

Once we get your email the typical turnaround time is 6-8 weeks. During this period please do not send duplicate requests or follow up queries as this will increase the processing time. Once permission has been granted, a permission (or copyright) fee will usually be charged to compensate the author for use of their work.

Before submitting your email, you should check the imprint page (at the front of the book) or the credit/acknowledgements page to make sure that the material you want to use is from a HarperCollins Australia or Working Title Press publication. For work published by HarperCollins UK or US, your request must be submitted to them directly:

When considering an application we take into account the manner in which it will be used and the publication it will appear in. Generally, permission is granted provided the amount of a work requested for reuse is reasonable and doesn’t represent an overly large proportion of the original work.

We do reserve the right to refuse requests in our sole discretion.

Required Information

To request usage in this manner you will need to contact the Permissions Department and provide the following information:


We do reserve the right to refuse requests in our sole discretion.

Permissions for materials not owned by HarperCollins

We do not necessarily own the rights to all material contained in a HarperCollins Australia publication. Copyright is held by different sources for the following items:

  1. Illustrations and photographs

The copyright of photographs and illustrations is usually held by the photographer or illustrator rather than the publisher. To check, look at the imprint page at the front of the book, the image caption or the bibliography/reference list at the back of the book. If copyright is held by a party other than HarperCollins Australia, please contact them for permission.

  1. Letters

The copyright of a letter belongs to the person who wrote it or their heir if they are deceased regardless of the physical ownership of the letter. To check where the rights lie, refer to the copyright page or any notes included in the text.

  1. Material in the book which has been attributed to another source

The copyright of any material credited to another source, person or institution is held by that source, person or institution – not the author of the work they appear in. To obtain permission to use this material, contact the cited party.

Permission to use works by particular authors

Some authors have additional permission requirements which can significantly increase the processing time and/or change who you should contact when seeking permission to use the author’s works.

These authors include:

For permissions to do with May Gibbs you need to send your request to both of the following:

Matt Duffy

Email: [email protected]

Alex Ishchenko

Email: [email protected]


Translation, Whole Work and Film/TV Requests

Requests for these uses are handled by the Rights Department. Please send your email to [email protected]



What is it and what does it do?

Copyright is a series of laws, known as the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth) which serve to protect the economic and moral rights of the creator (known as the ‘author’) of a work.

Copyright arises whenever an idea is expressed in ‘material form’, that is, in words, pictures, computer language, movements, music (recorded, or on paper) etc. In most cases, copyright belongs to the author of the work (see next paragraph for exceptions to this rule). A person who supplies ideas and suggestions for a work is not an author, regardless of how substantial their contribution is, only the person involved in the physical act of writing or making the work will be the author.

There is only one exception to copyright belonging to the author of the work: when the literary, dramatic or artistic work is created pursuant to a person’s employment, under commission, or under a contract of service or apprenticeship. In these instances, the employer or person commissioning the work will be the owner of copyright.

Besides protecting the financial and moral interests of the author, copyright laws grant the author (or other copyright owner) the exclusive right to:


Generally, to use copyrighted material express permission must be granted from the relevant party (as detailed above) however, there are exceptions. No permission is needed if you are using a reasonable portion of a work for the purposes of:

For printed books, a ‘reasonable portion’ is defined in the Copyright Act 1968 as being either 10% of the number of pages in the edition (e.g  10% of a 500 page book would be 50 pages) or a single chapter if the book is divided into chapters. For books in electronic form, the Act defines a ‘reasonable portion’ as being 10% of the number of words in the work or one chapter if the work is divided into chapters.

Public domain

Generally copyright lasts from the moment the material is created until 70 years after the end of the year in which the author died. This is known as the term of copyright. If the work was published posthumously, the term of copyright is defined as 70 years after the end of the year in which the work was first published. If this time has elapsed then the work falls into the ‘public domain’ and you do not need to request permission to use the material.

More information

For advice about copyright matters, we recommend visiting the Australian Copyright Council website or the Arts Law Centre website.