Copyright is an established law in Australia and around most of the world. Copyright protects individuals from plagiarism and to the best of its ability protects an individuals intellectual property.
As soon as you create a piece of content it is protected by copyright in Australia. You do not have to file for copyright to protect your creative property. However you may have to file a complaint if you wish to prove that someone has taken what is rightfully yours under copyright law, whether it be by plagiarism or redistribution etc.
A superb positive of copyright in Australia is that your protection is free. However copyright does not protect some creative ideas such like titles and slogans. However it covers a wide variety of creative aspects such as; artworks, song lyrics, music, computer programs, and even journal entries amongst many others.
Copyright in Australia is determined by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). This Copyright Act 1968 has been amended consistently throughout the course of its existence and lays out the ground rules for how we handle copyright. Of course it has to be amended in order to maintain its relevancy through changing technology and social views.
Copyright and Ethics go hand in hand. It is that willingness to accept copyright law and respect intellectual property that is so crucial to maintaining ethics online. If you redistribute something online without the intent of making profit then it is usually fine, it is always best to get permission from the copyright holder and to remove it if they say no to your request. The real problem starts when someone takes a copyrighted piece and redistributes it as their own work, this falls under the branch of blatant plagiarism which is directly against copyright law.