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Technological Protection Measures

What are Technological Protection Measures?

There are two types of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs):

1. Access Control TPMs - which are used to control access to copyright content. Some examples include:

  • Password control systems (eg, a 'members only' password which limits access to special content on a website to authorised members)
  • Payment systems (eg, where you have to pay a fee to access certain content on a website). For example, the Choice website has some freely available publications and some publications that are restricted to people who have paid to access them
  • Time access controls (eg, a technology that manages how long you can access copyright content). For example, some movie download sites allow you to 'rent' and watch a movie for a period of time (eg, 24 hours).

2.  Copy control TPMs - which prevent users from copying copyright content. Some examples include:
  • A software lock that prevents you from making a copy of a computer program
  • Encryption measures stored on the disk containing a movie or CD which prevent you from copying the movie or songs on the disk
  • A technology that 'locks' documents to prevent them from being copied (eg, the function that 'locks' a PDF document to stop you from making a copy

Rules applying to TPMs

Until very recently, schools were almost never permitted to circumvent (eg disable or remove) Access Control TPMs. Following copyright law reforms that came into effect on 22 December 2017, however, schools are now permitted to circumvent Access Control TPMs for the following purposes: 

  • Making a copy under the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence or the Statutory Broadcast licence
  • Making a copy under the flexible dealing exception in s 200AB of the Copyright Act
  • Making a copy under the organisational disability exception in s 113F of the Copyright Act
  • Making a copy under the fair dealing for disability exception in s 113E of the Copyright Act.

Schools are not permitted to circumvent an Access Control TPM for any other purpose (eg a teacher or student making a copy for their own fair dealing purposes). 

Teachers and Schools are allowed to circumvent Copy Control TPMs.

For further information, contact your local copyright manager.