University Library


Further Information

  • Copying allowances

Under provisions of the Copyright Act (1968), students are able to reproduce copyright material without permission providing the material is for research or study and that the copying is 'fair'.

This general guide to how the Copyright Act (1968) affects students' activities at UWA is not exhaustive and you should clarify specific concerns with University Library Copyright Officer.

  1. Copying limits
  2. Fair dealing
  3. Sharing UWA course material
  4. Music including peer to peer
  5. Moral rights
  6. Internet
  7. Computer programs
  8. Television and radio

Copying limits – a summary

Journal or newspaper
One article
More than one article if they relate to the same subject matter
10 per cent or one chapter
Electronic publication
10 per cent of the words

You can copy more than 10 per cent if the copying is considered 'fair' under the Copyright Act.

You do not need to be enrolled in a course – you could be researching or studying something for yourself. The copying allowances for research or study are contained in the section below.

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Fair dealing

Under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act, you can reproduce copyright material without permission provided it is for the purposes of:

  • research or study;
  • criticism or review;
  • parody or satire;

Providing your use of the material is 'fair'.

For books, journal articles and notated music the Copyright Act considers it 'fair' to copy a reasonable portion, which is defined as:

  • an article in a periodical publication (e.g. a journal or newspaper article);
  • more than one article from a periodical publication if it is for the same course of study or research;
  • 10% or one chapter if the work is a published edition of 10 pages or more; or 10% of the words if the work is in electronic form.

When deciding whether to copy more than this amount, or if you are copying an artistic work (such as an image or photograph) or audio-visual material (such as a sound recording, film or TV program), you must consider whether your use would be considered 'fair'. To decide whether your use is fair, consider the following factors:

  • the purpose and character of your use;
  • 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;
  • the amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole work.

You cannot use copies made under the fair dealing provisions for any other purpose. If you do, then the copies are infringing copies and penalties may occur. The copyright owner's permission is required for copying amounts over the above limits.

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Sharing UWA course material

All recorded lectures and other course material, such as presentation slides, lecture and tutorial handouts, unit outlines and exam papers, are protected under the Copyright Act and remain the property of the University and the teaching staff who created them. You are not allowed to share these materials outside of the LMS - for example, by uploading them to study resource file sharing websites or emailing them to friends at other universities.

Distributing course material outside of the LMS is a breach of the University Policy on Academic Conduct and students found to be sharing material will be penalised.

Other materials accessible from the LMS or via the Library, such as ebooks and journal articles, are made available to you under licensing agreements that allow you to access them for personal educational use, but not to share with others.

The Academic Conduct Essentials (ACE) online unit contains more information on ethical scholarship and the academic conduct expectations at UWA.

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Music including peer-to-peer (P2P) copying

Copyright in music contains three categories of copyright material – literary works (lyrics), musical works (the piece of music) and the sound recording of the music and lyrics.

Licence to reproduce music for study

The University has a music licence with the Australian music collecting societies that allow staff and students to reproduce music for educational purposes under certain conditions. The licence permits the copying of music by students for research and study, however, only original source CDs, LPs and cassettes can be used and various compliance requirements such as labelling and restrictions of use must be adhered to.

The licence does not apply to:

  • copying from unlawful or infringing copies of music
  • copying music from, or uploading music to the Internet, or transmission by email.

The music licence page has full details of the allowances and conditions under the licence.

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Moral rights

Moral rights relate to a creator's reputation in connection with their work. You must give the creator of a literary, artistic, musical, dramatic work or computer program or film:

  • the right of attribution – you should attribute a creator when you reproduce a work or film and it should be clear and reasonably prominent so that the person receiving a reproduction of the work of film will have notice of the creator's identity
  • the right of integrity – a creator's work should be respected and not subject to derogatory treatment by distorting it or modifying it, nor should you do something to a creator's work that is prejudicial to the reputation of the creator
  • the right of a creator not to have their work falsely attributed – a creator is entitled to take legal action if their work is falsely attributed to someone else

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Material on the Internet may be protected by copyright. The fact that it is on the Internet does not mean that it is 'copyright free' or that there is an implied licence to copy. Some websites give permission for material to be copied for certain purposes (for example, educational and non-commercial purposes). You should always check the website for any such statement.

Using University equipment and computer networks in ways that infringe the Copyright Act is expressly forbidden under the University of Western Australia: Computer and Software Use Regulations.

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Computer programs

Computer programs are protected under the Copyright Act as 'literary works'.

A computer program is defined in the Copyright Act as 'a set of instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result'. It is not the function of the program that is protected but the set of instructions that constitute the program. Computer programs are subject to the same protection as other literary works, and also the same copying allowances under the fair dealing provisions of the Act.

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Television and radio

You may copy material from TV or radio for the purposes of research or study providing the use is fair. Examples of fair use may be the taping of a current affairs program that is relevant to an essay you are preparing, or taping a feature film to study or compare lighting techniques or camera angles

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