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What is copyright?

Copyright laws protect the expression of ideas and information in material form (book, digital copy, sound recording, etc). They do not protect the ideas themselves.

Copyright is infringed when an action defined as an exclusive right of the owner is done without the permission of the owner or done without the protection of exceptions contained within the Copyright Act. Note that mere ownership of an item does not translate into ownership or control of the copyright in that item.

Educational institutions are awarded rights under the Copyright Act that permit the supply of limited amounts of material to students for which the University pays annual licence fees. The licences are the CAL licence (for print and graphic copying), Screenrights licence for broadcast copying, and the Music licence. These bodies distribute fees to copyright owners based on periodic sampling of use.

Individuals are also provided for by way of fair dealing.

There are also non-transferable moral rights attached to copyright items. These rights are associated with the creator's reputation, and cover the right of attribution, the right not to have work falsely attributed, and the right of integrity.

How (and why) does copyright affect me?

Use of copyright material outside the provisions of the Copyright Act and the educational (statutory) licence conditions and without the explicit permission of copyright owners is contrary to both the Copyright Act 1968 and the University's Copyright Policy.

There are many opportunities to use a range of materials in your teaching, either in a classroom situation, within the online environment, and via paper-based delivery methods.

The purpose of this site and the Copyright Office is to provide guidance and advice on allowable uses and to assist in seeking alternatives where your intended use may not clearly fall within your understanding of copyright law.