Copyright, moral rights and model releases


When obtaining and using images, agencies should enter into a written agreement with the owners of copyright acknowledging:

  • that copyright ownership of the relevant image is to vest in the Crown;
  • that the transferor is the owner of the entire copyright; and
  • no third party had any copyright in the image.

It is good practice to acknowledge copyright with the following, either under the photo or in a bibliography or reference: © Copyright State of Tasmania, <year of first publication>.

Where a State employee takes photographs as part of his/her work duties, copyright is owned by the Crown. Therefore no assignment of copyright is required.

Moral rights consent

Photographers have “moral rights” in relation to their work under Part IX (Moral Rights) of the Copyright Act 1968. Moral rights are separate from copyright. Moral rights impose certain obligations on people who use a copyright work. A photographer has the right to:

  • be attributed as the author of an image
  • take action if he/she is falsely attributed as the photographer of an image
  • take action if his/her work is distorted or treated in a way that is prejudicial to his/her reputation.

Procurement contracts should include, or make appropriate provision for, moral rights consent from the creator to allow the Crown to use the image without taking account of the creator's moral rights - that is, without needing to identify the creator or seek the creator's further permission before adapting the work.

Model releases

The Personal Information Protection Act 2004 regulates the collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal information by the Tasmanian public sector (ie agencies, statutory boards and authorities, Government Business Enterprises, Ministers), local government, and the University of Tasmania.

Personal information means any information in any recorded format, including photographs, about an individual whose identity is apparent or reasonably ascertainable from the information and who is alive or has not been dead for more than 25 years.

Consent to the use of the images for all relevant Crown purposes must be provided from people appearing in images (or if under 18 years their parent or guardian) by signing an Acknowledgement of Use of Image form (adult and minor). This will ensure the Crown’s use of the image is not restricted by the need to subsequently obtain that person’s permission.


For the drafting and settlement of appropriate agreements concerning the vesting or transfer of copyright to the Crown, moral rights consents, or model releases, please contact your department’s legal area or the Crown Solicitor’s Office for legal assistance. They will provide all relevant advice and arrange for any appropriate precedent to be made available to you, making sure it is the most recent and is properly tailored.