Copyright and teaching
- Copyright and teaching
- Types of copyright material
- Basic principles of copyright
- Using copyright material
- Citing material
- Using copyright material in PowerPoint presentations for educational purposes
- Limits on using copyright material for teaching
- Using copyright material in lectures
- Copying material for exams and test questions
- The statutory licence for educational purposes
- Music, copyright and teaching
- Guidelines for assisting people with disabilities
Copyright and teaching
The Copyright Act includes a number of provisions that allow copyright material to be used for teaching. Material can be made available in the LMS, included in a print coursepack or a digital coursepack (such as a CD or USB drive), given as a class handout or shown in class.
Copyright and the LMS
Readings Online can make textual material and images available on the LMS for you and ensure that all the copyright requirements are met. For more information, see Readings Online.
If you wish to make material available yourself, you must comply with the following conditions:
- Limit the types and amounts of material.
- Acknowledge all material with a proper and accurate citation.
- Display the required copyright warning notices.
- Restrict access to staff and students involved in the subject. Access can be granted to external people who assist with teaching or administering the subject.
Copyright and coursepacks
If you wish to make copyright material available in a coursepack or as a handout in class, the following conditions apply:
- Limit the types and amounts of material.
- Acknowledge all material with a proper and accurate citation.
- Use the coursepack front cover which includes the required copyright statement.
There are no limits on the number of copies that you can make. If there are 400 students in the course, you can make 400 copies of the coursepack or handout, plus spares.
Coursepacks and handouts can be made available in hardcopy or electronically on a CD or USB drive. Material can also be emailed or faxed to students.
☜Use the side menu to find out more about copyright and teaching topics.
Types of copyright material
Basic principles of copyright
Using copyright material
Using copyright material in PowerPoint presentations for educational purposes
If you wish to include copyright material in a PowerPoint presentation to show in class or make available to students in hardcopy or on the LMS, you must:
- Limit the amount copied - this will depend on the type of copyright material included in the PowerPoint.
- Images from:
- A print source, e.g. a textbook, if it cannot be separately purchased at a reasonable price within a reasonable time.
- An electronic source, e.g. a website. There is no need to check whether or not is separately available.
- Extracts from books, sheet music or other text - no more than 10% of the overall work.
- Images from:
- Attribute all material with a full citation.
- Include a copyright warning notice on the PowerPoint- the notice should appear either before the PowerPoint is opened or on the first page of the PowerPoint. Copies of the notices are available here.
- If placing the PowerPoint on the LMS, you must restrict access to University of Melbourne staff and students.
Educational purposes are defined as reproducing or communicating material for a particular course of instruction or for the administration of that course. Educational purposes do not cover the use of copyright material in PowerPoint presentations for public lectures or other purposes. For more information, see the Statutory Licence for educational purposes.
Limits on using copyright material for teaching
The Copyright Act includes a number of provisions that allow copyright material, to be used for teaching. The following limits apply when using material on the LMS or in coursepacks. If you wish to use material that is not covered by these limits or use more than is allowed, we can seek permission from the copyright owner. Contact the Copyright Office permission service.
You may use 1 article from a journal issue or 2 or more articles from the same issue if they are on the same topic.
Many journal articles are available from library databases via Discovery. You should link to articles rather than printing or downloading them. Use of these library resources is governed by a licence between the University and the database provider, which often do not allow articles to be printed off or downloaded as pdfs to be made available online for teaching purposes. If you do need to print or download articles contact us.
Literary, dramatic or musical works, and anthologies
(Such as - books, poems, plays, scripts, music scores, sheet music)
You can copy 10% of the total number of pages or 1 chapter (whichever is greater). You can copy more than 10% or 1 chapter (even the whole work) if the work is not available for purchase, for example because it is out of print or unpublished. You should keep records that show if the work is out of print or not available for purchase. You are not required to purchase a second-hand copy of the work or special editions of the work that are more expensive than the standard edition. We can assist you if you think the work is not available for purchase.
You can also copy more than 10% or 1 chapter (even the whole work) if the work is a published edition. A published edition is where the underlying work is out of copyright (for example works by Shakespeare or Mozart) but copyright applies to the layout and editing of that particular edition.
You may copy a literary or dramatic work in an anthology if the work does not exceed 15 pages. This applies to both print and electronic anthologies, however the electronic anthology must be paginated (e.g. in pdf). If the work exceeds more than 15 pages, you may only copy a reasonable portion of the work (i.e. 10% or one chapter if the work includes chapters) unless the work has not be separately published.
You may copy multiple works from the same anthology so long as they do not exceed 15 pages. However, it is not the intention of the Copyright Act to allow the whole anthology to be copied in this manner.
Including digital images, photographs, graphs, and diagrams.
If the image is from a print source, e.g. a textbook, the whole image can be used if it cannot be separately purchased at a ordinary commercial price within a reasonable time.
If the image is from an electronic source, e.g. a website, then the whole image can be used. There is no need to check whether or not is separately available.
Recorded music can be streamed via the LMS under the Music Licence. You can also reproduce music to play in class or give to students.
Recorded music from radio broadcasts can also be used.
Other (non musical) sound recordings
You can perform non musical sound recordings, for example from a commercial CD, in class but you cannot make them available on the LMS or make copies for students. If you wish to do this, you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner. In some cases, it may be possible to use a broadcast copy, if it has been broadcast on radio.
Radio and TV broadcasts
Material broadcast on free to air television and radio, including digital channels, can be used. Pay TV is also covered if you, or the University, have a subscription, as is satellite TV. "Catch Up TV" services, such as the ABC's iView, can be linked to. They may also be downloaded if the website allows it.
You can record the program in part or in full, or a single episode or the entire series, whichever is required for teaching. You must mark each copy, either on the item itself or on the container, with the following:
- The name of the institution for which the copy is made, i.e. the University of Melbourne
- A reference to the statutory license for educational purposes
- The date on which the program was broadcast or transmitted
- The date on which the copy was made.
Learning Environments can assist in recording upcoming programs or by obtaining previously broadcast material.
Podcasts can be downloaded under the statutory license for educational purposes if they were originally 'born' as broadcasts, e.g. Andrew Denton's Enough Rope was originally broadcast on the ABC. It is recommended that you link to podcasts when possible. Podcasts and webcasts that are 'online only' and have not been broadcast 'free-to-air' are not included under the statutory license for educational purposes and should only be linked to.
Podcasts and webcasts that were originally broadcast overseas can be copied - if the country of origin has signed the Rome Convention. Many countries, such as the United States, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, are not signatories. Podcasts from these countries can still be linked to.
It is recommended that you link to websites. There are no restrictions on linking to websites, but you should not link to infringing sites. If you do want to print or download material, check the terms and conditions of the website. If there are no terms and conditions, you may be able to use material under the statutory licences and the limits outlined here will apply to the different types of material.
Computer software or games
There are no provisions for reproducing or communicating computer software or games. If you wish to use computer software or games for teaching, you will need to seek permission or purchase a licence. The University purchases licences for many different types of software that can be used for teaching, for more information see: software and applications.
Using copyright material in lectures
The Copyright Act allows you to show or perform copyright material, such as films, in lectures or tutorials. There are no limits on the types of material or the amount you can show. You can show either an excerpt of the work or the work in full. The audience must be restricted to students and it must be for educational purposes.
These provisions do not apply to lectures, conferences or other events that are open to the public or are not for educational purposes - see public events.
If you need to reproduce the material in order to show it in lectures for example using images in a PowerPoint presentation or make a compilation of music or film excerpts), limits will apply - see limits on using copyright material for teaching.
If you record your lecture, and that recording includes copyright material, then you must comply with certain conditions. The provisions that allow any copyright material to be shown in class do not apply when that material is recorded. If you record copyright material as part of a lecture, it is subject to same restrictions as if you were making material available on the LMS. You must:
- Limit the types and amounts of material.
- Acknowledge all material with a proper and accurate citation. You can do this by including a citation in the PowerPoint or by making an announcement in class.
- Display the required copyright warning notices. If the lecture is being recorded via Lecture Capture the notice will be inserted automatically by the Lecture Capture System.
- Restrict access to staff and students involved in the subject. Additional access can be granted to external people who assist with teaching or administering the subject via the LMS.
- Pause the lecture recording while copyright material is in use, and resume the recording once completed. See this guide for further information.
- Remove any copyright material from the lecture recording. See the Lecture Capture - managing recordings guide for further information.
In some cases, you may not be able to record material that you have shown in class. For example, you can show a film or TV show in class that you have purchased on DVD. However, if you record the lecture, you must use a broadcast copy or seek permission.
If you are unsure if material can be included or not, please contact us.
Copying material for exams and test questions
The Copyright Act allows copyright material to be included in exam papers for the purpose of asking or answering questions. All types of copyright material are included:
- Literary works (e.g. book chapters, journal articles, newspaper articles, poems etc.)
- Dramatic works (e.g. plays, scripts etc.)
- Musical works (i.e. sheet or notated music)
- Artistic works and images
- Sound recordings and recorded music.
There is no restriction on the amount of the work that can be included – either an excerpt or the work in full.
This provision applies to all types of exams – sit-down, online exams and take-home exams. It covers not only formal end of year or semester examinations but also tests given throughout the semester. However, this provision only allows for the copyright material to be included for the purposes of the actual exam. If the exam is being made available to students in print or online as either a practice exam or study aid, the provision no longer applies.
If an exam paper is made available as either a practice exam or a study aid access should be restricted to students. Any copyright material should only be included under copyright requirements for using material for teaching.
The statutory licence for educational purposes
There are provisions within the Copyright Act that allow the University to reproduce copyright material for educational purposes under certain conditions. The Copyright Act defines educational purposes are as reproducing or communicating (e.g. making available online or emailing or faxing) copyright material to enrolled students for a particular course provided by the University or for the administration of that course. Educational purposes do not cover other activities of the University, such as research, marketing and promotion or engagement, for example public lectures.
The statutory licence (s113P) covers the reproduction or communication of textual material, images and TV and radio broadcasts. Textual material includes book chapters, journal articles, sheet music, plays and scripts etc. Broadcasts also include pay TV, satellite TV and podcasts of broadcasts. The licence allows copyright material to be made available to students in print coursepacks, as a class handout or via email as well as online on the LMS via Readings Online (text and images) and Kanopy (broadcasts). Copies can also be provided electronically on DVD or USB drive etc.
The statutory licence is not a free exception in the Act. The University pays an annual fee for the right to use this licence. These fees are then distributed by Copyright Agency and Screenrights to authors and creators as royalties. Copyright Agency and Screenrights are collecting societies representing copyright owners and creators. They administer the statutory licence on behalf of their members. As such, the TV and radio broadcast component of the licence is often called the Screenrights licence. The textual material and images part of the statutory licence is often called the Copyright Agency Licence.
Many academic staff are also authors and creators and may be eligible for royalties under the statutory licence if they are a member of Copyright Agency.
For more information on using material under the statutory licence, see copyright and teaching.
There are additional provisions that allow copyright material to be performed in class - see using copyright material in lectures – and included in exams and tests – see copying material for exams and test questions.
The statutory licence covers very limited use of music, so the University also has a licence with the Australian music industry for the use of recorded music for educational purposes. Again, an annual licence fee is paid to the music collecting societies, APRA/AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA, who then distribute royalties to their members. For more information see the music licence.
Music, copyright and teaching
The University has several copyright licenses that allow music and films to be used for educational purposes. We can:
- Provide copies of recorded music to students either as a download or by streaming
- Perform live or recorded music in class and include it in a live stream or lecture capture recordings
- Provide copies of sheet music to students online or in a print course-pack (some limits apply)
- Show films (either clips or in their entirety) in class and as part of a live stream
- Include copies of broadcast films in a lecture capture recording
- Provide copies of broadcast films to students either as a download or by streaming
- Provide copies of other types of copyright material such as images and text, e.g. book chapters or journal articles. Some limits and conditions apply.
The Library also subscribes to a number of databases for sheet music, recorded music, film and images. There are several Library guides to help you locate music, audio-visual and other library collections.
- Media Collections for Fine Arts and Music
- Kanopy (film and video streaming)
- Readings Online
- Readings Online user library guide
- Finding media for visual and performing arts library guide
- Finding images library guide
- Learning Environments video and media production services - help with converting media formats, and with making music, TV and radio available to students online.
- For further assistance contact the Copyright Office.
Performing music and other material in class
Live and recorded music can be performed in class. Other types of material such as films or images can also be shown in class. Material can be shown in part or in full. Some restrictions apply if the material must be reproduced for it to be shown in class, e.g. copying sheet music to provide students a copy to perform in class or copying an image to include in PowerPoint slides.
Live and recorded music and films can be included in a live stream of a class. Other types of material such as images can also be included as part of the live stream.
Using Lecture Capture
If a lecture is being recorded via Lecture Capture and the lecture includes copyright material, such as music or films, it is not always possible to include the copyright material.
Different restrictions apply to different types of copyright material included in Lecture Capture. Images (e.g. included in PowerPoint slides) and recorded music (live performance or pre-recorded) can be included. Films can be included if they are a copy of a television broadcast. If the film is from another source, e.g. a digital download or stream, DVD or YouTube clip whether or the film can be included will depend on the type of film and/or how long the clip is. Due to the complexity of making films available via Lecture Capture, it is recommended that film clips are excluded by pausing the recording when the clip is shown and restarted once finished. Copies of the film can then be made available separately by linking (e.g. YouTube clips) or by providing copies in the Library.
If you wish to make films available via Lecture Capture and are having difficulties, please contact us.
More information about using Lecture Capture.
Including music, films and other material in Lecture Capture
Copyright material can be included in a Lecture Capture recording and different restrictions and limits apply to different types of copyright material. Images (e.g. included in PowerPoint slides) and recorded music (live performance or pre-recorded) can be included.
The rules for including films in Lecture Capture are much more complex. Whole films or clips can be included if they are available from Kanopy are copies of broadcast. The Copyright Office is currently investigating other options for including films in Lecture Capture. If you wish to include films, please contact the Copyright Office to discuss your needs.
Making music and other material available online
Music and other material can be made available to students online via the LMS using Readings Online, Subsonic or Kanopy. This is the only way to ensure that content being uploaded is copyright compliant. Library staff will check all material uploaded for copyright compliance and manage all the administrative requirements such as providing citations and copyright warning notices for material.
The following limits apply when making material available online (as well as for print coursepacks and handouts).
Using print music
The Music Licence also allows us to use printed or sheet music for the following purposes:
- Physical or digital copying for educational purposes
- Physical or digital copying for the purposes of giving a performance at a University event
- Storing and providing access to digital copies to University staff and students from the LMS
Using print music under the licence is subject to the following conditions:
- If making physical copies of sheet music, do not make copies in excess of what is needed.
- Only scores owned by the University can be copied under this licence. Borrowed scores, scores owned by staff or students or copies of scores cannot be used.
- No alterations to lyrics or new arrangements can be made to the music.
- These copies can only be provided to University staff and students.
- These copies must be destroyed or taken offline when no longer required.
- All copies must be labelled with the following information:
Copy made pursuant to a licence between Universities Australia and AMCOS
Title of work
Arranger (if applicable)
Recorded music – streaming and downloading
Due to incompatibility with the University’s multi-factor authentication service, our music streaming server, Subsonic , has been retired. Playlists have been migrated and saved, and will be available for students in 2022 in the relevant subject LMS sites. Alternative sources for streaming musical works can be found through Naxos Music Library and other online music services. More information can be found on the Media Collections for Fine Arts and Music Library Guide.
We can also use sound recordings (both musical and non-musical) from radio broadcasts.
Films – streaming and/or downloading
Films, TV shows and other video content can be made available online for students, subject to some conditions and limitations. Films may be available via Library database or through Kanopy – a film streaming service. A link to the film can be provided via Readings Online.
Films or video clips available via Youtube, Vimeo or services such as iView or SBS On Demand can be linked to through Readings Online. If using clips from Youtube or Vimeo, check to make sure that they are legitimate copies made available by the copyright owner.
Copies of films and other programs that have been broadcast on television can be made available online to students. You can record the broadcast yourself or for assistance, contact the Copyright Office.
Unfortunately, commercial DVDs or digital files cannot simply be made available online. If you wish to make a commercial DVD or digital file available online, contact the Copyright Office.
Sourcing music or audio-visual content
Music can be sourced from Library databases (linked to only) or from CDs, LPs or other physical formats held in the Library or from your personal collection. Files downloaded from iTunes, Apple Music or similar online music sites (legitimate ones) can also be used. This usage is covered by the Music licence the University has with the Music industry. We can also link to Spotify playlists or tracks. However, students must create an account with Spotify which may raise privacy issues for students not wishing to join the service. Further, free accounts on Spotify are feature-limited.
We can also use sound recordings (both musical and non-musical) from radio broadcasts. You can either record this yourself or contact Learning Environments for assistance.
For assistance in sourcing music or audio-visual content, please contact the Copyright Office or your Subject Liaison Librarian.
Using music and other material in exams and tests
Copies of sheet music and recorded music, as well as other copyright material, can be made available to students as part of an exam or text question. See copying material for exams and test questions.
About the copyright licences
There are provisions within the Copyright Act that allow the University to reproduce copyright material for educational purposes under certain conditions. Educational purposes do not cover other activities of the University, such as research, marketing and promotion or engagement, for example public lectures. The Copyright Act provisions include the statutory licence which covers the reproduction or communication of textual material, sheet music, images and TV and radio broadcasts. The licence allows copyright material to be made available to students in print course packs, as a class handout or via email as well as online on the LMS via Readings Online (text and images) and Kanopy (broadcasts). There are additional provisions in the Act that allow copyright material to be performed in class and included in Exams and Tests. The statutory licence covers very limited use of music, so the University also has a licence with the Australian music industry for the use of recorded music for educational purposes.
For more information about the University’s copyright licences, see the statutory licence for educational purposes.
Guidelines for assisting people with disabilities
There are provisions in the Copyright Act that allow material to be reproduced in accessible formats to assist staff and students with disabilities.
The provisions apply to any person with a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This includes people with print or vision impairment, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illnesses, deaf or hearing impaired, or physical disabilities. Both permanent and temporary disabilities are covered.
There are two separate provisions that apply when reproducing copyright material in accessible formats for staff and students with disabilities. A provision covering institutions assisting people with a disability and a fair dealing provision for use by either a person with a disability or on behalf of a person with a disability. Educational institutions such as the University are included in the definition of institutions assisting people with a disability meaning that we can rely on either provision to assist staff and students with a disability
The two provisions are very similar and are intended to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to copyright material as people without disabilities. The provisions apply to:
- staff and students with a disability that causes them difficulty in reading, viewing, hearing or comprehending copyright material,
- all types of copyright material – literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works and films or sound recordings.
Other benefits include:
- Copyright material can be converted in whatever accessible format is required by the staff member or student.
- Once converted the accessible copy can be made available to the staff member or student online for example via the LMS, email or the cloud (e.g. Dropbox).
- Accessible copies can be used by staff or students with disabilities for whatever purpose they need. It is not just limited to research or study; personal use is covered as well.
- Copies of material in accessible format can be kept and reused by other staff or students with disabilities. Copies can also be shared with other institutions assisting people with disabilities.
- Allowing a third party to convert the material to an accessible format on either the institution’s or individual’s behalf. For example, it is permitted to encourage an external copy to caption a lecture recording for a student who is deaf or hearing impaired.
If the copyright material is protected by a technological protection measure (TPM) that prevents the material from being copied, then you can break the TPM to convert the work to an accessible format.
Material that is converted to accessible formats under these provisions should be correctly cited and include a copyright notice. Access should also be restricted to staff or students with a disability. If you wish to make the accessible copy available to other users, please contact the Copyright Office for advice.
There is one key difference between the fair dealing provision and the institutional provision. If an institution is making material available, they must first check to see if the material is commercially available in the required accessible format. If the copy is being made available under the fair dealing provision, then it may still be possible to make an accessible copy even if a copy in the required format is commercially available so long as the use of the material is fair. In determining whether the use is fair, the person making the copy should consider:
- The purpose of making the copy – given that the copy is being made to assist a person with a disability this would be concerned fair.
- The nature of the material – is the material published and in print and readily available or is it unpublished or out of print and not easily available.
- The effect of making the copy on the potential market or value of the work – making a copy for an individual with a disability in an accessibility format would have limited impact on the potential market or value of the work as there is only a limited market for accessible formats.
- The amount and substantiality of the part – where only part of a work is copied, how much is copied and how important is that part to the overall work. This does not mean that copying the whole work would not be considered fair.