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A CD-Rom is a compact disc that stores vast amounts of information such as course work, text books or other reference materials.

In this section, a CD-Rom may be protected as a:

Where the CD-Rom includes sound recordings or moving images (video clips or animation), it will be categorised as a film.

It is important to note that CD-Roms may contain many copyright works, for example:

Copying and Communicating CD-ROMs

In general, copyright in CD-Rom will not be infringed where the copy or communication is done:

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  1. Fair Dealing 

    The copying of material from the CD-Rom for fair dealing purposes is free and does not require the permission of the copyright owner. The fair dealing exceptions most relevant for educational institutions and students are:

  2. Flexible dealings 

    Schools and TAFE institutes can now use CD-Rom content for non-commercial teaching purposes if the use is not covered by another exception or Statutory or Voluntary Licence. In most cases, literary (text) and artistic works on a CD-Rom will be covered by the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence, so the flexible dealings exception will not apply.

    If the CD-Rom contains films, interactive content, games or music, the flexible dealings exception may apply. Teachers must assess whether the proposed use:

      1. Is a special caseYour use will be a special case where it is narrow in both a qualitative or quantitative sense.  This means that you are only using what you need for educational instruction.
      2. Is for educational instructionEducational instruction means teaching (including remote teaching), preparation for teaching, preparing materials for students to use for homework or research tasks, or other uses that are in connection with teaching. 
      3. Is not for commercial advantage or profitYour use will be commercial where you, your students or your institute are making a profit or gaining a commercial advantage from the use of the material.  Cost recovery is likely okay. 
      4. Doesn’t conflict with the normal exploitation of the copyright materialYour use will probably conflict with the normal exploitation of the material where it is possible to purchase a similar resource. 
      5. Doesn’t unreasonable prejudice the legitimate interests of the copyright owner or person licensed by the owner
      Your use will prejudice the copyright owner if you:
      a. use more than you need;
      b. interfere with the quality of the material;
      c. expose the content to piracy, such as uploading the content to the Internet.Uploading the content to a password protected intranet, blog, wiki or content management system is okay provided students are not able to make further copies; and
      d. don’t remove the content from the password protected DTE as soon as practicable after it is no longer required for education instruction.

    One example of an activity that may be covered by the flexible dealings exception is making a copy of a small extract of the CD-Rom to disc or PowerPoint to play in class if that extract is not separately commercially available

    For further information, see information sheets:
    Flexible Dealing and Technological Protection Measures

  3. Computer Programs exceptions

    The exceptions for computer programs under the Copyright Act will generally not apply to CD-Roms because most CD-Roms contain and embody a number of different copyright works such as artworks, print works, films and sound recordings in addition to a computer program.

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  4. Statutory Licences 

    Statutory Text and Artistic Licence 

    The Statutory Text and Artistic Licence allows educational institutions to print, communicate and make electronic copies of text and graphic files on a CD-Rom under the Electronic Use System.

    However, most CD-Roms are purchased with a licence which may override the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence and other permitted uses provided under the Copyright Act (see below). If you are unsure about this, please check with your local copyright manager.

    It is important to note that the Statutory Text and Artistic Licence does not cover the copying of software, sound recordings, film, video, Internet radio or web TV.

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

  5. Voluntary Licences

    Shrink wrap or educational licences

    Most CD-Roms are purchased with a 'shrink wrap licence' or a 'special educational licence'. The licence sets out the terms and conditions for the use of the CD-Rom.

    The terms and conditions of a shrink wrap licence may conflict with exceptions and Statutory Licences under the Copyright Act. It is currently unclear whether the terms of the shrink wrap licence would override a school/TAFE institutes rights to copy material under the Copyright Act. This is a difficult issue and is currently being considered by the Commonwealth Government. If you are uncertain about what you may do with a CD Rom you should contact your local copyright manager.

    These are some common activities permitted by some CD Rom licences:

    • copying text, images, audio or video onto the computer clipboard
    • printing hard copies of the text, images, audio or video from the CD-Rom
    • permitted amount that can be copied from the CD-Rom
    • making the CD-Rom or the material embodied in it available over a intranet
    • installing the run program on a number of machines
    • lending the CD-Rom to students or staff.

    See also FAQs: CD Rom

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