The Copyright Act provides a series of exceptions which allow schools and TAFE institutes to use copyright material without permission:
Teachers and students can copy and communicate limited amounts of works under “fair dealing”. No permission is required or payment made to the copyright owner if the use is fair and for the purpose of:
Research or study
In general, students and teachers can rely on fair dealing when using extracts from copyright material as part of their own research or study for a class or particular course of instruction. The person undertaking the study and research (for example, the school student) must be the person doing the copying for it to be considered a “fair dealing”.
- literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work
- radio or television broadcast
- film, video /DVD
- sound recording
- multimedia product
- computer program and
- a ‘reasonable portion’ of a published edition of a literary, dramatic or musical work,
- whole or part of an article in a periodical or
- more than one article in a periodical if you are copying it for different research or a different course of study.
- the purpose and character of the dealing
- the nature of the work
- the possibility of obtaining the work within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price
- the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of the work or
- in the case where only the part of the work is copied – the amount and substantiality of the part copied in relation to the whole work.
Criticism or review
A student/teacher may copy or communicate parts of a literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work for the purpose of criticism and review (eg where a student or teacher is reviewing a book, CD or film for a student newspaper, teacher’s journal or a website).
Reporting the news
Parody or satire
Satire means the use of irony, sarcasm or ridicule in exposing vice or folly.
An example of parody might be students re-working a television advertisement to ridicule it. An example of satire might be students using part of a television advertisement in a PowerPoint presentation to make a satirical point about an issue related to the advertisement (eg using a fast food commercial to make a satirical point about childhood obesity levels).
The flexible dealing exception allows teachers to use copyright material in limited circumstances for the purposes of educational instruction. Teachers are not allowed to use this exception if another exception or statutory licence applies (eg if the teacher is already allowed to make a copy of a text or artistic work under the Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence).
For further information, see Flexible Dealing.
Disability Access Exceptions
The Copyright Act contains two non-remunerable disability copying exceptions:
(i) use of copyright material by organisations assisting persons with a disability and
(ii) fair dealing for the purpose of assisting persons with a disability.
Both of these exceptions can be used by schools and TAFE to assist students with a disability, but the circumstances in which they apply differ.
For further information, see Disability Access Exceptions.
There are a number of copying exceptions that apply to copying by libraries. These include making:
(i) copies of content for the purpose of preserving the content
(ii) copies of content for the purpose of research carried out by the library
(iii) supplying copies of content at the request of a student for that student’s research and study and
(iv) copies of content at the request of another library.
For further information, see Library Copying.
There are a number of exceptions where no payment is required for educational use of copyright material:
Performing copyright works and playing films and sound recordings in class
- in the course of education and is not for profit and
- the people in the audience or class are giving or receiving instruction or are directly connected with the place where instruction is given.
The class may be a ‘virtual’ class, where class content is delivered (eg using virtual classroom software or Zoom) to students who are learning remotely.
This does not include performances to parents, school excursions or for fundraising activities.
Communication of copyright works, films and sound recordings to a class
Some of the things you are allowed to do are to:
- use an electronic delivery system to transmit a television program or film from a central DVD player in the library to a monitor in the classroom
- use virtual classroom software to show copyright materials, such as films, to external students
- recite a poem to students in a virtual class over Skype, Google Hangouts or other online communication platforms
- play a film from a DTE (eg ClickView) in class
- make a film available via a DTE for access by distance education students for the purpose of a particular class and
- display or project material to a class, such as a poem, on an electronic whiteboard, flat panel or data projector.
This exception does not cover placing content onto DTE unless it is for the purpose of showing that material in class. We recommend that such material is removed at the end of the lesson or not longer than 14 days after the classroom use.
Copying by hand
- piece of paper
- white board
- blackboard or
- overhead transparency.
There are no limits on how much may be copied, adapted, translated or arranged by hand.
Examples of works copied by hand include:
- diagrams or plans
- poems or
- musical notation and lyrics.
Copying for exams
Schools and TAFE institutes may copy any kind of copyright material including artistic, dramatic, musical, sound recordings, broadcasts, film or literary works in exam papers for free and do not need to seek the copyright owner’s permission. This includes exams and assessments conducted online. It does not apply to practice exams.
Playing sound recordings in public
Schools are permitted to play sound recordings in public. For independent and Catholic schools, this is under s 106 of the Copyright Act. For government schools, it is under an interim licence from PPCA, which is in effect until 31 December 2020.
There are other exceptions where no payment is required for educational use of copyright material:
There are special exceptions in relation to artistic works.
a. Works in public places
Copyright in a sculpture, craft work or building (and models of buildings) displayed permanently outdoors or in a place or building open to the public is not infringed by students or staff making a painting or photograph of it.
b. Incidental use on television
The use of an artwork in the background of a film or television program filmed by students and staff will not infringe copyright in the artwork, provided the use is incidental and does not form part of the main action being presented.
Schools and TAFE institutes may make back-up copies of computer programs.