University Library

Print copying

The Part VB statutory licence for the copying of print and graphic material for educational purposes provides the following copying and communication allowances.

Hardcopy copying (photocopying) allowances

Books and other separately published works
Literary works (except computer programs), dramatic or musical works – a 'reasonable portion' of a work may be copied. A 'reasonable portion' is deemed to be the greater of: (a) 10 per cent of the pages in the edition and (b) one chapter of that edition.
Periodical publication
Journal, newspaper, magazine – the whole or part of one article in an issue of a periodical can be copied or, two or more articles can be copied from a single issue of a periodical if the articles relate to the same subject matter.
Artistic work
Diagrams, maps, tables, pictures – the whole or part of an artistic work may be copied if it accompanies text for the purpose of illustrating or explaining that text. If copied separately, the whole of an artistic work can be copied if it has not been separately published. If it has been separately published, the whole of the work can only be copied if the provisions relating to out-of-print and unavailable works apply (see below).
Anthology
The whole or part of a literary or dramatic work in a published anthology of works if that work comprises not more than 15 pages of that anthology.
Out-of-print or unavailable works
More than 10 per cent or one chapter can only be copied if the University is satisfied, after reasonable investigation, that copies (other than second-hand copies) of the work cannot be obtained in a reasonable time (six months for textbooks, 30 days for other works) at an ordinary commercial price.
Not separately published
The whole or part of a work (other than an article in a periodical publication) can be copied if it has not been separately published.
Insubstantial portions
You can copy and communicate one or two pages of a literary or dramatic work which is in hardcopy form, or no more than one percent of the total number of pages in the literary or dramatic work, if there are more than 200 pages (or no more than one percent of the words in the work if the work is in electronic form). You may make multiple copies of an insubstantial portion of a work for the purposes of a course of education and distribute them to staff or students, but the following provisos must be adhered to:
  • Copying or communicating a whole work will never fit within the insubstantial portion exemption.
  • The exemption does not apply at all to artistic works or musical works (sheet music).
  • The copying or communication must be carried out on the premises of the University.
  • 14 days must elapse before a person relying on this provision can copy any other part of the same work in reliance on it.
  • Any parts of a work previously made available online in reliance on the insubstantial portion provision must be taken down before a person can make another part of the work available in reliance on this provision.
  • The copied or communicated portion must be properly attributed.

Electronic copying allowances

Allowances for digital copying are essentially the same as those for hardcopy copying (photocopying) above, but with some important differences.

Hard copy to electronic

If you scan a hard copy work into digital or electronic form in order to distribute the copies to students or staff of the University (that is, by CD-Rom, email or diskette), the same copying allowances apply as for hard copy copying.

However, each copied work must be accompanied by a specific copyright warning notice. The warning notice must be attached to the copied works in such a way that the viewer cannot avoid seeing it when they access the copied works. Where copied works are collected into the form of a course reader, each copied work within the reader must have the warning notice accompany it. Consult the guidelines for print and graphic electronic copying and communication, and the electronic copying chart for more details and examples.

Placing copied material online

Due to the perceived potential for material placed online to be accessed more widely and copied more readily than other forms of data transmission, the Copyright Act (1968) imposes strict limits and procedures on this form of delivery when copying material to students and staff.

    • When placing a portion of an electronic or scanned literary, dramatic or musical work online for student access, only one part of that text can be available online at any one time. This applies to the whole University.

    • This means that, although you can copy up to 10 per cent of a literary, dramatic or musical work, if someone else has put online a portion of the same work, no one else can put online any more of that work until the first portion is taken down.

    • The most efficient way to ensure compliance with this requirement is to channel all online copyright material for teaching purposes through a centralised database system.

    • Course Materials Online (CMO), a service provided by the University Library, is designed to process and centrally manage the digital copying and communication of print-based course materials, including copyright compliance.

    • If you are uncertain whether the copyright material you want to put online is already online somewhere else in the University, consider other forms of distribution such as email, CD ROM, supplying a URL, or photocopies for your students.

    • This strict limit does not apply to articles from periodicals. With articles from periodicals, you may place online one article from an edition, or two or more articles from an edition if they are of a related subject at any one time. This restriction is applied per course unit rather than across the whole university.

  1. All material copied for the teaching of students and placed online must have a specific warning notice attached to it in such a way that the viewer cannot avoid seeing the notice every time they access the material.

Warning Notice [PDF, 5.5 KB]
Updated 11 Dec 2012


Warning notice [RTF, 7.7 KB]
Updated 29 Apr 2013


  1. Access to copied material made available online must be restricted to UWA staff and students entitled to receive it – access must not be available to the public.

  2. There is a nominal time limit of 12 months that any material can be left available online. If it is not taken down before 12 months then it will be deemed to have been communicated a second time.

Guidelines and assistance

Consult the print and graphic electronic copying and communication guidelines and the electronic copying chart .

Commentary and answers to frequently asked questions about copyright and the Part VB and Part VB educational statutory licences, from the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee.
FAQ [PDF, 451.0 KB]
Updated 11 Dec 2012


FAQ [RTF, 601.7 KB]
Updated 24 Apr 2013


If you intend to place copied material online for access by students or staff, contact your faculty branch library for assistance.