Using copyright material

Generally, copyright is infringed if the work or a substantial part of the work is used without permission in one of the ways exclusively reserved for the copyright owner.

In Australia, there are three main ways to determine if you can use someone else's work without their explicit written permission:

  • The work is in the public domain
  • Your use of the work is permitted under one of the Fair Dealing exceptions in the Copyright Act
  • The author has explicitly defined the rights of use through Creative Commons licensing

Remember, you must always cite your sources and/or credit the author.

Researchers, scholars and theses

You are able to use text, images, sound and film without infringing copyright if any of the following apply:

  • You own the copyright
  • Your copying of the work complies with the limits and conditions in the Copyright Act for 'Fair Dealing' for the purpose of research and study
  • You have a licence to use the work (e.g. Contract, terms and conditions of use, material published under an open licence, including Creative Commons, click-through agreements and pay per view). Click-through licences are legally enforceable
  • You are using a short extract or quote
  • You have written permission from the copyright owner
  • The work is in the public domain (copyright expired, author has waived copyright)

In any case, you must acknowledge the source and authorship of any work you are copying.

When is permission required?

To reproduce anything more than a short quote or extract, you will generally require permission from the copyright owner. This is usually the creator or publisher of the work. Most publishers will require you to obtain permission to reproduce copyright works (e.g. diagrams, charts, photographs, images, journal articles or book chapters) in your thesis.

Written permission of the copyright owner is required:

  • If you wish to copy a substantial part of a work which has been separately published and is still available for purchase
  • If your intended use falls outside the provisions of a contractual agreement or licence
  • If you intend to use more than is permitted under the Australian Fair Dealing provisions
  • If you wish to re-use student work
  • If you wish to use photographs of people as this may infringe the University's Privacy Policy, particularly, if the subject is clearly recognisable. Always obtain permission via a Talent Release Form from the person photographed before re-using their image.

Permission requirements

  • Permission must be received in writing (email okay)
  • Permission must be granted by someone who has the authority to grant permission
  • A permission statement must be included with the work copied
  • A copy of the permissions "letter" must be lodged with the Copyright Officer

If you need to verify the status of a permissions request or determine whether the University has obtained permission to use a particular work, contact Copyright Services.

If you need to seek permission yourself (i.e. for publication, commercial or personal use), ensure that any permission is obtained in writing in the event that you are challenged about it at a later date. To help you manage this process, please refer to UniSA's Thesis Toolkit (pdf) which has useful information and contains a sample permission letter and copyright material log.

Copyright Clearance Center

If the work you wish to reproduce has been published by one of the major publishers (e.g. Elsevier, Wiley, Springer), you will generally be directed to seek permission through the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). This is a relatively quick and simple process, usually resolved in minutes. Many publishers will permit you to include copies of your own work in your thesis gratis.

To seek permission via the CCC:

  1. Locate the publisher page for the publication containing the content you wish to reproduce
  2. On that page, you will usually find a permission link which will direct you to the CCC's online permission request form
  3. To request permission, follow the prompts on the form

As part of the process, you may be asked to set up an account. This is also a relatively quick and simple process. When submitting your thesis (pdf), ensure you include a copy of the licence agreement and acknowledge the work.

Check out the 3-minute video Copyright, publishing and theses: When is permission required? which explains when you might need to seek permission for including previously published material in your thesis and demonstrates how to use the Copyright Clearance Center to get those permissions.

Publisher policies

The MIT Libraries' Thesis content and article publishing page has a useful list of journal publisher policies, including:

  • Policies regarding graduate students' reuse of their previously published articles in their theses
  • Policies on accepting journal submissions that first appeared in an author's previously released thesis

Teaching at UniSA

When you are creating teaching materials using other people's work, you must consider the copyright of that work. If you create lecture slides that contain images, figures or text that you didn't create personally, then you are copying these works, and your use will involve copyright.

If you upload copies of articles, book chapters or reports to your course site for your students to read, then you are communicating these works, which involves copyright. This doesn't mean that you can't use other people's work, but you will have to check to make sure that your use is permitted.

PowerPoints, lecture recordings and YouTube

You can include text, images, sound and film in PowerPoint presentations and lecture recordings. However, depending on the type and format of the material you are copying, conditions and limits may apply.

Resources copied under the Educational Licences must be restricted to UniSA staff and students, and the Copyright Notice (below) should be displayed prior to the PowerPoint being opened (or as the first slide).

If you want to make your presentations available more broadly, then you will need to ensure any content you copy has been published under an open licensing scheme. For more information about open educational resources, please refer to Open licensing.

Useful links:

PowerPoint templates

All material communicated or placed online should display the Copyright Notice. To assist staff in complying with the requirements of the Copyright Act, UniSA has made available a PowerPoint template which should be used by staff when creating PowerPoint presentations for use on campus:

Using text extracts or short quotes in PowerPoint slides

  • Normally limited to 1-2 pages (or 1% of the number of pages from a printed literary work of more than 200 pages)
  • 10% of the number of words from an unpaginated electronic literary work (e.g. blog, web page)
  • 1% of the number of pages from a paginated electronic literary work (e.g. pdf)

You may be able to copy more if the work you are quoting from has been made available under a Creative Commons licence or is in the public domain.

Using artistic works in PowerPoint slides

This includes works such as photographs, graphs, drawings, maps, designs, cartoons, diagrams, figures, etc.

  • The whole of an artistic work in hardcopy form, if it is incidental to (i.e. accompanies or explains) the text being copied
  • The whole of an artistic work in hardcopy form if it has not been separately published or cannot be obtained in a reasonable time and at an ordinary commercial price
  • The whole of an artistic work published in electronic form, provided that access to that material is not governed by a contractual agreement or licence

Using material provided by guest lecturers

Guest lecturers may provide you with copies of their PowerPoint presentations. If you intend to make these PowerPoints available online, you need to ensure that:

  • Any third party copyright material complies with the limits and requirements of UniSA's educational licences
  • If the lecturer owns the copyright, you obtain permission to use the presentation for teaching purposes

One way to do this is to ask the guest lecturer to sign a Copyright Release form (pdf) which asks them to warrant:

  • They own copyright in their presentation
  • They have granted explicit permission to the University to use their presentation as a teaching resource

Where a guest lecturer has made these warranties and given consent for the University to use their PowerPoint as a teaching resource, no further action by you is required. If no form has been signed and there are unattributed images, you should either:

  • Remove the unattributed content from the PowerPoint
  • Attribute the images as 'source unknown' and add a Copyright Notice as the first or second slide of the PowerPoint

Film screenings

Screening of films other than as part of a course of instruction is generally considered to be a "public performance". Under the Copyright Act, UniSA is only permitted to show films on its campuses if all the following criteria are met:

  • The students are currently enrolled in a course currently offered by UniSA
  • The film is shown in class for educational purposes
  • The film is not screened for profit

To screen a film for any other purpose (for example, at a UniSA Open Day or if you are providing instruction "for profit"), you will need to do one of the following:

  • Seek permission from the copyright owner for your intended use
  • Purchase a copy licensed for non-theatrical use – this may involve a fee depending on how many people will view the film and how many times it will be played

The following organisations license films and documentaries for non-theatrical use:

  • Amalgamated Movies rents films from Sony Pictures (including Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures) and Madman Entertainment
  • The Ronin Films catalogue includes Australian documentaries, a selection of feature films of educational interest as well as high quality documentaries from other countries, especially from independent filmmakers in the USA – copies must be purchased
  • The National Film and Sound Archive has a catalogue of over 19,000 titles (mainly in 16mm, VHS and DVD format) which can be borrowed by educational, cultural, social and religious institutions, as well as community groups, churches, film societies, government bodies, hospitals, libraries, museums and galleries
  • Roadshow Public Performance Licensing (PPL) is Australia's largest "non-theatrical" distributor, representing many of the leading Hollywood studios as well as international and local independent studios and distributors of film for use outside the cinema and home

Text, images and digital readings

The University of South Australia has a licence that enables staff to copy and communicate limited amounts of text and images for the educational purposes of the University without needing to obtain permission from the copyright owners.

Conditions

  • Copying must be for the non-commercial educational purposes of the University
  • Strict copying limits apply (pdf)
  • Access must be restricted to University of South Australia staff and students
  • The Copyright Notice should be displayed for material made available online or in digital form (e.g. email, DVD, PowerPoint) prior to communication

Linking

You may link to a website without infringing copyright, provided that the content on that website is not in itself infringing. Before linking to a website, check the terms and conditions of linking. Some websites do not allow deep linking; only a link to the home page is permitted. If it is not obvious to the user that they are being linked to another website, the copyright owner might be able to argue that the link infringes copyright.

Class handouts

You may print as many copies as necessary of book chapters, journal articles or slides from your PowerPoint presentation to distribute to your students. For example, if there are 200 students in the class, you can print 200 copies, plus some spares. The only limits which apply are the limits to how much you can copy from the work itself (i.e. number of chapters/pages).

Digital readings

Articles, chapters and other eReadings can be made available to your students using LearnOnline via the eReadings module found in the Course Essentials box. Please consult the LearnOnline support site for information on how to use this system.

TV and radio broadcasts

University of South Australia staff are able to copy and communicate television and radio broadcasts from free-to-air, satellite and cable services for the educational purposes of the University without obtaining permission from the copyright owners.

Any television or radio broadcast can be copied, including podcasts of broadcasts originally aired as free-to-air broadcasts and available from the broadcaster's website (e.g. podcasts of ABC programmes originally screened on TV). This does not include subscription services such as Presto, Stan and Netflix.

To make content from these services (and other commercially purchased content) available online will generally require permission. For assistance with obtaining permission please contact Ask the Library.

How much can I copy?

There is no limit to how much or what type of material can be copied. Broadcasts of commercials, documentaries, feature films and television shows can all be copied, regardless of their commercial availability. There are no limits on the number of copies you can make; however, each copy must be clearly labelled and deposited in the Library before you can use it.

Podcasts/vodcasts created exclusively for the Internet

Podcasts which have been created exclusively for the Internet (i.e. not broadcast free-to-air) cannot be copied for the educational purposes of the University. However, you may provide access to these materials via a link.

Pre-recorded (purchased or hired) audio-visual materials

Copying or communicating pre-recorded AV material is strictly prohibited. However, you may play commercially purchased or hired DVDs, CDs or videos (in part or in full) to students in the classroom without infringing copyright.

The audience must be restricted to those taking part in the course of instruction, or who are otherwise directly connected with the University. Hired videos are subject to contractual arrangement and should be used only in accordance with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

Overseas broadcasts

You may copy podcasts and webcasts of overseas broadcasts provided the country hosting the website is a signatory to the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations.

Conditions

  • Copying must be for the non-commercial educational purposes of the University
  • Access must be restricted to University of South Australia staff and students
  • The Copyright Notice should be displayed full-screen immediately prior to communicating the program to the screen
  • All off-air broadcast recordings should be labelled, stating that the copy has been made for the University of South Australia, the date of the broadcast and the date the copy was made
  • A Terms of Use Notice should be incorporated into the cover of any CD/DVD containing material copied, which clearly states the conditions under which the content is being made available

For assistance in uploading media files to the library streaming server, contact Ask the Library.

Licensed eResources

eResources (e.g. ebooks, ejournals, databases) accessed through the University of South Australia are governed by contractual agreements (licences) which override the Copyright Act. The ways you are allowed to use material from these resources depend upon the licence terms.

The Digital Readings Service can provide information on how to use licensed eResources as teaching material.
For specific information regarding the use of eResources, please contact Ask the Library.

Tertiary music licence

The University of South Australia is signatory to a commercial music licence which covers rights that are controlled by the Australian Music Collecting Societies, APRA/AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA. The licence permits the University to use music in certain ways without seeking separate licences or permissions each time. There are no limits on how much of a work may be copied, only the circumstances in which music can be copied or performed.

Search the APRA/AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA websites for musical works and licensors covered by the tertiary music licence repertoire.

Conditions

  • Music can only be copied or used from a legitimate source
  • Access must be restricted to members of the University of South Australia community
  • Copies of recordings (or their packaging) must display the Prescribed Notice and copyright information

Permitted uses: Live music and sound recordings

  • Perform live music and sound recordings at University Events that are organised and authorised by the University, on or off campus. Ticket Price for the event must not exceed $40 (plus GST)
  • Perform live music and sound recordings at ticketed Graduation Ceremonies (no threshold ticket price) that are organised and authorised by the University on or off campus
  • Perform live music and sound recordings at Events that are organised and authorised by the University, on or off campus, for University purposes (includes educational services, showcasing student work and in-house research, and engagement with the University community but no promotional use)
  • Play on University music-on-hold systems
  • Play music in the workplace for the benefit of employees (in staff rooms, staff tea rooms and at staff-only events such as Christmas parties)
  • Play or perform music for educational purposes (e.g. analysis, review, or student performances as part of course requirements). Excludes recording or performing grand right (e.g. ballets, operettas), dramatic (e.g. plays) or choral works
  • Play or perform music in University spaces and businesses which are 100% owned and operated by the University, (including; retail spaces, dining spaces, student areas, administration areas, art spaces, and health centres), but not the University's gyms as they are open to the public
  • Supply recordings made for educational purposes (e.g. course of instruction) or for University purposes to students and staff and their immediate family either at no cost or at a price that is for reasonable cost recovery only

Permitted uses: Videos containing music

Videos of graduation ceremonies

  • Stream on line for up to 30 days after the graduation ceremony date (after 30 days they must only be available via a password-protected University platform
  • Supply in a physical format (like a DVD) to the University community only for cost recovery purposes
  • Store on a password-protected University platform such as a learning management system

Videos that capture sound recordings in context (recordings captured at the same time at which the video footage is required)

  • For AMCOS licensed works, provide access as a stream on University social media channels and University websites (that is, websites operated by the University ending in ‘.edu.au’ or ‘.edu’)
  • For ARIA licensed sound recordings, provide access on University websites (that is, websites operated by the University ending in ‘.edu.au’ or ‘.edu’)
  • Supply in a physical format (like a DVD) to the University community only for cost recovery purposes
  • Store on a password-protected University platform such as a learning management system

Videos that use sound recordings in post-production (music added to video footage after the footage has been captured)

  • Supply in a physical format (like a DVD) to the University community only for cost recovery purposes
  • Store on a password-protected University platform such as a learning management system
  • Note: Videos using sound recordings in post-production are not permitted to be shared online

Videos that capture live performances of music (and do not capture any sound recordings)

  • Provide access as a stream on University websites (that is, websites operated by the University ending in ‘.edu.au’, or ‘.edu’)
  • Provide access as a stream on University social media channels
  • Supply them in a physical format (like a DVD) to the University community only for cost recovery purposes
  • Store on a password-protected University platform such as a learning management system

What am I unable to do under the music licence?

  • Adopt, arrange, alter, debase, remix or undertake any other action that prejudices the integrity of any musical work or sound recording or make an audio or audiovisual recording of to synchronise such an adaption
  • Broadcast any musical work or sound recording
  • Communicate any musical work or sound recording on any online platform other than a University website or password-protected University platform where the University has control over the content and is not publicly available or available to third parties
  • Copy print (sheet) music
  • Copy and communicate musical works not covered by the Music Collecting Societies' repetoire
  • Include any advertising or promotional material on any recording other than relevant University names, University brands and University logos
  • Make available for download any audio or audiovisual recordings
  • Perform music where the University's premises have been let for hire or otherwise to a third party (including a staff member or student unless the venue has been hired for a University activity)
  • Perform or play music at a University event where the ticket price exceeds $40 (plus GST) at its highest value
  • Perform or play music in public
  • Reproduce cinematograhic films or videos, including music videos (you may be able to to this under the Educational Licence)
  • Record or perform grand right (e.g. ballets, operettas), dramatic (e.g. plays) or choral works
  • Reproduce, communicate or perform infringing copies (e.g. copies which have been downloaded or obtained illegally and are in breach of copyright)
  • Reproduce, download, forward or otherwise convey a musical work or sound recording via the Internet
  • Stream a graduation ceremony online for more than 30 days from the date of the graduation ceremony
  • Substitute lyrics with alternative words, or perform the music and associated lyrics as a form of parody or satire

Prescribed notice – labelling requirements

If you provide students with teaching materials or recordings of University events that contain excerpts of copyright music, the teaching resource/recording or its packaging must carry the following notice:

This recording has been made by the University of South Australia under the express terms of an educational licence between it, ARIA, AMCOS, APRA and PPCA and may only be used as authorized by the University of South Australia pursuant to the terms of that licence.

The following information must also be included:

  • Title of each musical work
  • Composer, lyricist and arranger of the musical work
  • If ARIA sound recording, the artist/group name, and the record company label

If you don't know the source of the work, you need to indicate this with the following statement:

Source unknown. All reasonable efforts have been taken to identify the copyright owner of this material. If you are the copyright owner, or know who they are, please contact copyright@unisa.edu.au.

Other ways to use music

Copying sheet music for inclusion in an examination paper

Under Section 200(1) of the Copyright Act, you may copy up to the whole of a piece of sheet music for inclusion in an examination paper. For more information about copying for exam, please refer to Copyright basics.

Performing music in class

Section 28 of the Copyright Act allows staff and students of the University to perform or play a musical work or sound recording in class, provided that:

  • Only a legitimately-purchased recording of the music is used
  • The performance forms part of the class, and the performance is restricted to students enrolled in that class

If you wish to make a recording of the performance, you may do so only as permitted under the University's Music Licence.

Copying sheet music for teaching purposes

Under the University's Educational Licence, you may copy limited amounts of printed sheet music for inclusion in course packs, or to hand out to students in class. As a general rule, you may copy:

  • Printed sheet music: 10% of the number of pages
  • Sheet music published in electronic form: 10% of the number of bars

Making a single copy by hand

Under Section 200(1)(a) you may make a single copy by hand of up to the whole of a piece of sheet music for use in class. You must not subsequently reproduce the hand copy by photocopying or any other means.

Research or study

Staff and students may copy limited amounts of print (sheet) music for their research or study. For more information, please refer to Copyright basics.

Sourcing digital content

Internet

You may rely on the copying limits in the Educational Licence to use images from the Internet in your teaching materials, provided that access to that material is not restricted by a contractual agreement or licence. If the website contains restrictions on downloading or copying of material, you must abide by these, or seek an exemption from the copyright owner.

Creative Commons licensed works

Creative Commons is a 'some rights reserved' licensing system allowing creators to release their works in less restrictive ways than those imposed by copyright legislation. Content made available under Creative Commons licences may be used in teaching materials. For more information, please refer to Creative Commons.

Public domain or "copyright free"

Many artistic works published on the web are promoted as being public domain or "copyright free". Before using these works, check the terms and conditions of the website making the images available to make sure that the images are actually free for use.

Google Images

Artistic works found on Google are protected by copyright. Always check the copyright statements, or terms and conditions of the website making the image available, to establish what uses are permissible. Watch this video for tips on finding Creative Commons licensed images through Google.

Free-to-air and Foxtel broadcasts

Licensed resources

  • EduTV (via Informit) – Find over 30,000 programs from a range of learning areas. Includes documentaries, and programs broadcast on pay TV channels such as The History Channel, National Geographic, BBC Knowledge and Discovery.
  • TVNews (via Informit) – Streamed videos of Australian television news, current affairs and selected documentaries from the free-to-air networks. Content from 2007 onwards.
  • ClickView provides anywhere, anytime, any device access to a large range of video resources (over 2000 videos in 6 collections: Natural Resources, Arts and Recreation, Business and Services, Health and Public Sector, Manufacturing and Engineering, and Foundation Skills), or check out thousands of recorded TV broadcasts in the Exchange.
  • Kanopy: Search a wide range of content from distributors including Madman Entertainment, Paramount, Universal, ABC and BBC. Coverage includes: Arts, Business, Health Sciences, Media and Communications, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Teacher Education.
  • LinkedIn Learning An online library of courses that teach the latest software, creative, and business skills through over 5,000 high-quality instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts.

Exams

The Copyright Act contains a special provision which allows you to reproduce or adapt copyright works for use as exam questions or in an answer to an exam question which is set as part of a course. There are no restrictions on the type of material that may be copied or how much of a work you may copy.

Remember to appropriately acknowledge the source of any material you copy. If there is a reason why this might not be appropriate, please contact Ask the Library to discuss.

Attributions

Do you provide attribution for images in your lectures and presentations? If you don't, then consider:

  • The creator (photographer, researcher, illustrator) who created the image or figure deserves credit for their work
  • Not providing an attribution constitutes plagiarism, if not copyright infringement
  • Attributing everything you copy sets a good example for your students

If the source of the content does not contain all the information necessary for a complete citation, include as much detail as you can followed by a statement that the creator is unknown.

For further information on how to attribute Creative Commons licensed material, please visit the Creative Commons website.
You may also find the following video on Copyright: Creative Commons and Atrribution useful.

UniSA forms

To assist staff and students of the University in managing copyright issues associated with publishing or authorising re-use of their works, the University has made available a range of licences and agreements for staff and student use:

The University also has a Takedown Request form if you believe your work has been infringed.