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2.1 Text works

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Overview

What is a text work?

In this section, the term text works  refers to literary, dramatic, and musical works in print and electronic form.

Copying and communicating text

The Copyright Act contains a number of 'free use' exceptions and other sections that allow copyright material to be used without the permission of the copyright owner.

Copyright in a text work will not be infringed where the copying or communication is done:

  1.    Fair dealing 

    The copying of print works for fair dealing purposes is free and does not require the permission of the copyright owner. The relevant fair dealing exceptions are:

    1. research or study

      Photocopying or scanning by students/teachers of a reasonable portion of a text will be a fair dealing as long as it is for the purpose of 'research or study'.

      Scanning or photocopying a larger part of a text work by a student or teacher to assist his or her research or preparation of an educational course can still be a fair dealing for the purposes of research and study. However, the teacher/student must assess whether copying more than a reasonable portion would be fair. For example, it is probably fair to copy the whole of a book for research or study if the book is out of print so the school/TAFE can't buy it.

    2. criticism or review

      This includes, for example, an extract of a book in a student critical review.

    3. parody or satire

      This includes, for example, changing the words to a poem on the syllabus to make a satirical point about an issue being studied.

      See 1.13: Copyright Exceptions for further information

    The fair dealing exception does not apply to the making of multiple copies of text materials by an educational institution (or its teachers) for its students required in a course of study. This may only be done with:

    See Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence for further information

  2. Flexible dealing exception

    Schools/TAFE institutes can now use text materials for non-commercial teaching purposes if the use is not covered by another exception or Statutory Licence. Most copying and communication of text works will be covered by the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence so the flexible dealings exception will not often apply.

    To rely on the flexible dealings exception, teachers must assess whether:

    • the proposed use is narrow in scope
    • whether it would conflict with a normal way the copyright owner exploits the material and
    • whether the use would unreasonably harm the copyright owner

    One example of an activity with a text work covered by the flexible dealings exception is translating a chapter of a book from English to Japanese to study in a Japanese language class.

  3. Educational exceptions

    There are exceptions that are specifically for education and allow free use of certain copyright materials in certain circumstances.

    1. Reading, performing and reciting a text work during class

      Copyright is not infringed by a teacher or student performing, reading or reciting a literary work while giving or receiving educational instruction in a class.

    2. Communicating a text work for classroom performance

      Copyright is not infringed by communicating a text work to allow it to be performed in class eg displaying it onscreen using PowerPoint or using an electronic whiteboard.

    3. Copying by hand
    4. Copying for exams

      See 1.13: Copyright Exceptions for further information

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  4. Statutory Text and Artistic Licence 

    Part VB of the Copyright Act provides a special Statutory Licence which allows schools and TAFE institutes to communicate and make multiple copies of text works for students for educational purposes.

    A brief outline of the Statutory Licence (which comprises two schemes) is set out below. Further details of the compliance procedures for these schemes, including sample remuneration notices, are contained in Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence and Education Licence Notices.

    The Hard Copying Scheme

    The Hard Copy Scheme allows the copying and communication of a reasonable portion of hard copy text works (eg books and printed journals).

    See Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence for further information

    The Electronic Use Scheme (EUS)

    The EUS allows:

  5. Other issues
    1. Artistic and Musical Works

      Artistic and musical works are treated differently under the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence.

      See Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence for further information

      See 2.2: Artistic Works and Photographs for further information

    2. Special Rules for Anthologies

      Anthologies are treated differently under the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence

      See Education Licence B: Statutory Text and Artistic Licence: Special Issues  for further information on copying anthologies

    3. Disability Copying Provisions

      The Statutory Text and Artistic Licence has specific provisions in relation to copying by educational institutions for children with print or intellectual disabilities.

       See FAQs: Print Works for further information

    4. Moral rights

      You should always be aware that the creator of a text work has moral rights in that work which must be respected.

      See 1.16: Moral Rights for further information

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