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Copyright Material for Non-Teaching Purposes

As a student or researcher you will often use other people's copyright material in the course of your education or research. The Copyright Act has a number of fair dealing provisions which allow staff and students to use material for certain purposes without being in breach of copyright. However strict limits apply to the copying and use of this material. These exceptions are for your personal use, not for use on behalf of the University. It is the personal responsibility of all students and researchers to comply with the Copyright Act.

You will need to read the overview of copyright if you are unfamiliar with the basic concepts of copyright.

  • Using materials for research or study

    Staff and students may copy material for free under the fair dealing provision for the purpose of research or study. This provision is not limited to people enrolled in formal courses; it also applies to people studying or researching under their own direction. Research and study purposes also include assignments, projects and theses.

    For textual works the Copyright Act stipulates that copying the following amounts is fair.

    • if copying a literary work or printed music which is published as an edition of 10 or more pages, you may copy 10% of the total number of pages or one chapter; 
    • if copying a literary work which is digital format, you may copy 10% of the total number of words or one chapter;
    • the whole or part of an article from an issue of a newspaper, magazine or journal;
    • more than one article from an issue of a newspaper, magazine or journal if each article is for the same course of study or research

    If you wish to copy other material (e.g. literary works less than 10 pages; artistic works; videos; sound recordings; anything which is not published; computer programs), or if you wish to copy more than the above amounts or use textual works in other ways (eg to make an adaptation) you need to be demonstrate that your use of the work is ‘fair’. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your use is ‘fair’:

    • Why do you want this copy? (e.g. copying in connection with a university course is more likely to be fair than copying for research which may have commercial applications).
    • What is the nature of the copyright material? (e.g. it may be less fair to copy a work of a high degree or skill than a mundane work).
    • Can you easily get the material at an ordinary commercial price? (e.g. if it can be ordered and available within 6 weeks for textbooks and 30 days for other print and electronic resources, then it would not be fair to copy. However if the material is rare or out-of-print, then it would be fair to copy).
    • What effect will copying have on the market or the value of the work? (e.g. making more than 1 copy will be less fair than making a single copy)
    • If it’s a part of a work, how much, or how important or distinctive is it, in relation to the entire work? (e.g. it is less fair to copy a large or important part of the work than to copy a small or unimportant part)

    Note: If you have used a portion of someone else's work under the fair dealing provisions, you MUST only use it for that study or research purpose. For example if you create a website as a class assignment in which you used some graphics from somewhere else, you cannot use that website for any other purpose, such as inclusion in an employment portfolio, unless you get permission from the copyright owner or can rely on another exception.

    Any work used under this provision must be properly acknowledged, so that the moral rights of the author are respected. Any acknowledgment should identify the author (unless the author is anonymous or has agreed or directed that they not be named) and identify the work from which the copies are taken by its title or other description.

  • Using material for criticism or review

    This fair dealing exception allows copyright material to be copied, adapted, and communicated for the purpose of criticism or review. This only applies to genuine critiques or reviews, either of the material itself or other material. It cannot be used to capitalise on the publishing of another creator’s material. For example, if you are using the copyright material as an example or to illustrate a point, you cannot rely on the fair dealing provisions for criticism or review.

    Any work used under this provision must be properly acknowledged, so that the moral rights of the author are respected. Any acknowledgment should identify the author (unless the author is anonymous or has agreed or directed that they not be named) and identify the work from which the copies are taken by its title or other description.

    Unlike the fair dealing exception for study and research this exception allows material to be used more broadly as it is not limited to copying. For example the criticism or review could be published online. Staff and students may also be able to use the provision when presenting material at a conference and include it in the paper if it involves critical comment of the material or invites analytical discussion.

  • Using material for parody or satire

    This fair dealing exception allows copyright material to be used for the purpose of parody or satire. Simply using material in a humorous way is not enough to satisfy this exception, it must meet the criteria of being a parody or satire. The Copyright Act does not define these terms so you should rely on the dictionary definition. In general a parody will imitate material and it may incorporate parts of the original while satire is used to expose characteristics such as vice and folly by using devices such as irony, sarcasm or ridicule. While material which is used for parody usually comments directly on that material the same isn’t always true for satire where the characteristics being exposed may be unrelated to the copyright material.

    This exception also covers all the rights, not just the right to copy. This means you can publish your parody or satire and make it available online without requiring the copyright owners’ permission.

    Moral rights still apply to this exception so you need to provide attribution. The right of integrity also applies although it is unclear at this stage how this intersects with the parody or satire exception which in certain circumstance has the potential to damage the creator’s reputation.

 

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