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Playing AV Material in Classrooms

Section 28 of the Copyright Act enables the University to play commercially purchased or hired videos, CDs or DVDs in the course of not-for-profit educational instruction, provided that the audience is limited to teachers, students who are enrolled in the class, and persons directly connected with the University. This extends to delivering the material via reticulated delivery systems (e.g. from a central DVD player to a classroom) or using live streaming technology.

Note, however, that the University does not have the right to copy the DVD so if you are recording the lecture, you must stop your recording while you screen the DVD.

Copying 'Insubstantial' Portions

The University is entitled to make multiple copies of and to communicate ‘insubstantial’ portions of literary or dramatic works for the purposes of a course of education, without being in breach of copyright. This exception does not extend to other types of works.

An ‘insubstantial’ portion is:

  • If the work is in hardcopy or is in paginated electronic form: Up to 2 pages if there are less than 200 pages, or up to 1% if there are 200+ pages
  • If the work is in electronic form but not paginated: Up to 1% of the words


  • The copying or communication must be carried out on University premises
  • A period of more than 14 days must elapse before another insubstantial portion of the same work can be copied or communicated
  • Material which is copied / communicated in reliance on this provision must be continuous passages (i.e. you can’t cut and paste different passages of the work to make up the 2 pages)
  • Any part of a work previously made available online in reliance on this provision must be taken down before making another part available online in reliance on this provision (e.g. if you place pg 10 of a work online, you must remove it before you can place pg13 online). Note: If you do wish to place the material online, you must do so through the DRMC.
  • The source of the work must be acknowledged

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