Updated 17 March 2022
The Copyright Act sets out two licences that govern the copying and communication of copyright works by schools and TAFE: the Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence and Statutory Broadcast Licence. Educational institutions can also enter voluntary licences with the various collecting societies, who collect royalties on behalf of their copyright owner members.
Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence
- photocopying text or images
- scanning or taking a photograph of hardcopy text or images
- emailing a digital version of text or images to students
- putting a digital version of text or images on to a password protected school or TAFE intranet or Digital Teaching Environment (DTE).
The Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence does not contain any rules at all about how much of a text work a teacher is allowed to copy or communicate. Instead, it, allows teachers to copy and communicate text works as long as the amount copied or communicated “does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests” of the copyright owner. This means there is flexibility to allow teachers to copy and communicate the amount they need where to do so would cause no harm to copyright owners.
For many works commonly used by teachers with students (for example those that are currently available to buy), only portions of the work can be copied for educational purposes under the licence. For these works the ‘10% or one chapter rule’ is a useful guide in making this assessment for many resources that are still commercially available. For other works, such as older ‘out of print’ works, or works made available on the internet without any expectation of payment, teachers may be able to copy more (or even all) of a work.
The Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence ensures that copyright owners are paid for the educational uses of these works. The relevant governing body of your school or TAFE (eg, the State or Territory Department of Education, Catholic diocese, or your independent school or TAFE institution) pays licence fees to Copyright Agency Limited (CA), which is the collecting society that administers this licence.
A sample of schools (every year) and TAFE institutes (every 3 years) are surveyed to estimate how much is being copied and what is being copied. Copyright Agency uses this information to assist with the distribution of royalties to copyright owners and as a basis for determining licence fees payable to Copyright Agency. In 2019, schools and TAFE nationally paid over $60 million in licence fees to Copyright Agency.
Statutory Broadcast Licence
- putting a digital copy of a program on to a school or TAFE intranet or DTE)
- emailing a digital copy of a program to students
- copying and communicating a free-to-air broadcast made available by the broadcaster over the internet (eg a webcast or podcast).
There are no copying limits under the Statutory Broadcast Licence.
The licence is administered by Screenrights. The educational institution or its administering body must have a remuneration notice with Screenrights. All government schools are covered by their respective Department of Education remuneration notice. Most Catholic and independent schools are covered by the remuneration notices of their respective Catholic Education Commissions and Offices and Associations of Independent Schools. Only a handful of TAFEs are covered by a remuneration notice to Screenrights. If you wish to check whether your school or TAFE is covered, contact your local CAG representative or the NCU.
Each year a sample of schools and TAFE institutes are surveyed to estimate how much is being copied and what is being copied. This information is used by Screenrights to assist with its distribution of royalties to copyright owners. In 2019 schools and TAFE nationally paid over $25 million in licence fees to Screenrights.
Schools have also entered into a sector-wide licence with the music collecting societies, Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA). This licence permits schools to copy and share musical works and sound recordings for a range of activities. For more information on the music licence, see Schools Music Licence.
For more information see TAFE Music Licence.