Music, Copyright and Teaching

The University has several copyright licences that allow music 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 lecture capture recordings.
  • Provide copies of sheet music to students online or in a print coursepack (some limits apply).

We can also use and provide copies of other types of copyright material such as films, images and text, e.g. book chapters or journal articles. Some limits and conditions apply.

The Library also subscribes to several 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.

Subsonic (Music streaming service)

Kanopy (Film and video streaming)

Readings Online:

Libguides on Music and Audio-Visual Resources:

Learning Environments Media Services (help with converting media formats, and with making music, TV and radio available to students online)

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. The music can be sourced from either a CD or an online source, e.g. Subsonic, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music or YouTube. See sourcing music and audio-visual material.

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 a PowerPoint.

Restrictions also apply if copyright material is going to be included in a Lecture Capture recording,

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.

Making music and other material available online

Music and other material can be made available to students online via the LMS. There are several ways to do this. These limits also apply to print coursepacks and class handouts.

When making copyright material available online, use Readings Online, Subsonic or Kanopy as this is the only way to make sure that your use is copyright compliant. Library staff will check all material uploaded for copyright compliance. Readings Online, Subsonic and Kanopy also manage all the administrative requirements, such as providing citations and copyright warning notices for material.

Sheet music, images and text (e.g. book chapters or journal articles)

Copies of sheet music and text can be made available but only 10% of the total number of pages or 1 chapter. If the work is not commercially available, e.g. it is out or print, more than 10% can be made available.

Where a work is out of copyright, for example Mozart, the whole score or work can be uploaded. Take care if uploading a new arrangement of an out of copyright work, as a new arrangement will be protected as a new work – only 10% can be used.

Where material is available electronically either via one of the Library’ databases or a public website, a link can be provided. There are several Libguides available to assist with finding and using suitable databases:

Readings Online User Manual - http://unimelb.libguides.com/readings_online - to help you upload material to Readings Online.

Recorded Music – Streaming and Downloading

Recorded music can be streamed to students via a library service called Subsonic. Tracks on Subsonic can also be downloaded. This can be whole albums or single songs. Students can access their Subsonic playlist via: http://streaming.unimelb.edu.au

To upload content to Subsonic please send an email to the appropriate library contact.

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. If the film is available via one of the Library databases a link can be provided via Readings Online. The Library also provides access to Kanopy – a film streaming service. Search the catalogue to see if a film you require is available via Kanopy. For further information about Kanopy, visit the Kanopy Streaming website or contact the Copyright Office.

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. For more information, see copying material for exams & test questions

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 coursepacks, 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.