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2.8 Internet and Websites

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In this section:

  • A 'website' is a collection of web pagespublished together on the Internet by one person or organisation under the same domain name (Internet address).
  • A 'webpage' is a text file usually coded in HTML, which may also contain JavaScript or other commands.
  • 'Internet' refers to Internet resources that are usually provided in the form of hypertext documents commonly referred to as 'web pages' and may incorporate any combination of text, graphics, or other digital objects.

Copyright protection of on-line material

Material on the Internet is protected by copyright. It is important to realise that the material that comprises a website will be protected by copyright and that various pieces of content may be owned by different people.

See 1.5: Who owns Copyright? for further information

For example, a webpage may contain the following content:

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Other useful definitions

Download  means transferring data (usually a file) from another computer to the computer you are using.

Upload means transferring data (usually a file) from the computer you are using to another computer or server.

Webcast  or streaming  refers to the live presentation of information in a continuous (streaming) format delivered through the Internet. A webcast might be associated with other web pages or other web-browser-based content in addition to the live stream.

Copying and communicating material from the Internet

In general, copyright in print, musical and artistic workssound recordings or film contained on the Internet will not be infringed, where the copy or communication is done:

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  1. Copying with permission of the copyright owner

    Most websites specify what uses visitors can make of the material contained on the website. Users should search the site to see if there are any permissions given to use the material for educational purposes. Permissions are usually found on buttons or links called 'copyright' or 'disclaimer' or a file headed 'conditions of use'.

    Some websites allow users to forward articles to interested persons by way of email. Permission to forward a copy or link to an on-line article will be implied where the webpage contains an icon with the words 'Email this article to a friend' or there is some other invitation to copy or communicate.

    There are four situations where a school/TAFE will have permission to copy material from the Internet without relying on the Statutory Broadcast and Text/Artistic Licences:

    • where the website says that educational copying is permitted. For example, there might be a notice that the material is:
      • able to be used freely
      • free for school or education use
      • able to be used 'in your organisation'

      An example of a website that is freely available for use by teachers is the ABC Splash website ( http://splash.abc.net.au/home).

    • where the website or document has the NEALS logo, or is otherwise stated to be NEALS Content. This logo means that schools/TAFE institutes can always use the material for free. [Link to NEALS Information Sheet – pending]
    • where the teacher has received permission from the copyright owner to make the copy (for example, you may be able to get permission by asking the person or organisation listed at the 'Contact Us' section on the website)
    • if permission to make the copy is implied. Permission to make a copy may be implied where the webpage contains a printer icon with words such as 'printer-friendly format'. This suggests that a teacher can print one copy of the webpage. However a printer icon (or similar words) may not always mean you can print the material. You should always check that there is nothing in the copyright notice or website terms of use (such as a limitation allowing personal use only) that means that the permission to use the material in a school/TAFE does not apply.

  2. Fair dealing 

    The copying of web material 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:

    • research or study - eg students downloading articles from the Internet for their research and study
    • criticism or review - eg students reviewing websites for a student publication. The source material, the author and copyright owner (if different) must be identified
    • parody or satire – eg students copying extracts of webpages to include in parodies or satires (such as in a classroom PowerPoint presentation).

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