Overview

Copyright protects everyone’s work. Whether you’ve created a document, an image, a video or a sound recording, copyright protects your creation so that other people can’t use your work unfairly.

When you want to use other people’s work, you must make sure that you use it fairly too. In the University teaching environment, this means complying with copyright on behalf of your employer.

You must consider copyright every time material is copied or communicated. Copying is making a reproduction of an item. The copy can be in print (e.g. making a photocopy) or electronic (e.g. scanning a book or downloading a digital image). Reusing someone else’s work in a new creation is also a form of copying. Copyright applies no matter how much of an item is being copied, whether one paragraph or an entire book. Read More

For a work to be protected by copyright, it must be in a material form and have a human author. Copyright protects the expression of the idea, not the idea itself. It protects published and unpublished material, including material available in electronic form.

This means that books, conference papers, web pages, computer programs, journal articles, play-scripts, artworks (including book jackets and album covers), videos, music recordings, TV and radio broadcasts are all protected by copyright.

For works that are still in copyright, copyright generally lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years.  Please refer to the 'how long does copyright last?' guide for specific provisions.

The creator of a work is generally the owner of that work until or unless they assign their copyright to someone else, generally, a publisher. Under the Australian Copyright Act, copyright owners have a number of exclusive rights, including: Read more

The ‘Fair Dealing’ provisions in the Copyright Act allow individuals to copy a reasonable portion from a copyright work for a limited number of specified purposes without the need to obtain prior written permission from the Copyright owner. Works copied under the ‘Fair Dealing’ provisions must only be used for the purpose for which they have been copied. Read more

You may rely on the Fair Dealing provisions to copy and use limited amounts of other people's material without permission from the copyright owner and free of charge for the following purposes:

  • Research or Study (s.40, s.103C)
  • Criticism or Review (s.41, s.103A)
  • Parody or Satire (s.41A, s103AA)
  • Reporting the News (s.42, s.103B)
  • Judicial Proceedings or Professional Advice (s.43) Read more
  1. The purpose and character of the dealing (i.e. copying in connection with a course of study is more likely to be fair than copying for research which may be used commercially); 
  2. The nature of the work (i.e. it may be less fair to copy a work that has significant commercial value or which required a high degree of skill to create than a work with little or no commercial value or which required little skill to create);
  3. The possibility or obtaining the work within a reasonable amount of time at an ordinary commercial price (e.g. it may be fair to copy the whole of a work which is out of print or not available in reasonable time, but unfair to copy the whole or part of a work which is available commercially);
  4. The effect of the dealing on the potential market for, or value of, the work (e.g., making multiple copies of a work is less likely to be fair than making a single copy); and
  5. The amount and substantiality of the part copied in relation to the whole work (it may be less fair to copy a large or important part of the work than to copy a small or unimportant part).

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. Please contact Copyright Services if you believe your work has been infringed.