Australia's copyright law is contained in the Copyright Act 1968 ("the Act"). The Act allows for and protects copyright in original works and other subject matter including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; computer software; films and video recordings; and sound recordings. In each case copyright arises automatically when the subject matter is created or published provided certain criteria are met. Under the relevant conventions and treaties, Australia extends copyright protection to most overseas citizens or residents.
Copyright gives the owner a bundle of exclusive rights. Most relevantly those exclusive rights will include the rights of reproduction, of (electronic) communication to the public and of public performance (including causing a recording or film to be seen or heard in public). The general rule is that the author of a work is the first owner of copyright. However, where a work is made by the author in the course of employment then the first owner is usually the employer.
In December 2000 Australia enacted moral rights and included them in the Copyright Act. These rights are personal to the author and cannot be assigned. They are a right to be identified as author, a right to object to derogatory treatment prejudicially affecting the author's honour or reputation and the right to take action against false attribution. For further information refer to Copyright and Moral Rights (PDF, 17kb).
There are a variety of exceptions which permit the use of copyright material without the express voluntary licence of the owner. Some amount to compulsory licences, for which the owner receives payment, others are free exceptions. Examples include:
- Fair dealing. The fair dealing exceptions allow for free use but are restricted, requiring the user to demonstrate that the use was both fair and for one of a narrow list of permitted purposes (most significantly, criticism or review, research or study, or the reporting of news). In the case of fair dealing for the purpose of research or study the Act provides that in respect of the reproduction right the copying of a single article in a periodical publication or of a single chapter or less than 10% of a book will be deemed to be fair.
- Statutory licences which allow for the copying and communication of works, and copies of films and sound recordings from broadcasts, for the educational purposes of educational institutions. These statutory licences are remunerated and are dealt with in more detail below.
- The performance of works, sound recordings and films in class for teaching purposes is free and is taken outside the public performance right of the copyright owner(s).
- The right to make insubstantial copies. The Act quantifies when small amounts of copying will not infringe if they are made for the purpose of a course of education.
- Statutory licences which allow the remunerated use of copyright material to assist those with reading or intellectual disabilities.
The key statutory licences for universities are the Part VB licence allowing for the multiple reproduction and communication of works and periodical articles (for further details refer to Print and Graphic Copying Guidelines (PDF, 32kb) ) and the Part VA licence allowing for the copying and communication of broadcasts (for further details refer to Audiovisual Copying Guidelines (PDF,34kb) ).
Finally, there is a voluntary licence with the relevant collecting societies representing the owners of copyrights in music and sound recordings to which Australian Catholic University is party. It covers the use of music at university events, Music-on-Hold and certain copying and communication of sound recordings for teaching and educational purposes. For further details refer to the Music Licence Guidelines (PDF, 20kb).
If you require further information contact the University Copyright Officer, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Resources)
- Print and graphic copying and communication guidelines (PDF, 32kb)
- Guidelines for publishing online journals or newsletters (PDF, 14kb)
- Audiovisual copying and communication guidelines (PDF, 34kb
- Electronic copying and communication (PDF, 24kb)
- Music copying and communication (PDF, 21kb)
- Moral rights (PDF, 17kb)
- Copyright Information for Staff and Students
- Image Reference List Template (PDF, 68kb) (to record the source of images used in on-line units)
- Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) Agreement (PDF, 907kb)
- Copyright Screenrights Agreement (PDF, 6.4mb)
- Music Societies Licence Agreement (PDF, 6.4mb)
Universities Australia (formerly AVCC) Resource Papers
- University IT Systems: Managing Liability for Transmitting, Caching, Hosting and Linking to Copyright Material (March 2007) (PDF, 116kb)
- Copyright Amendment Act 2006: what's changed for Universities? (PDF, 25kb)
- Copyright Music Licence guidelines (Guidelines, PDF File, 59.1 KB)
- Copyright Online Journals Guidelines (Guidelines, PDF File, 97.1 KB)
- Copyright Print and Graphic Copying Guidelines (Guidelines, PDF File, 67.3 KB)
- Copyright_Audiovisual_copying_guidelines.pdf (Guidelines, PDF File, 114.7 KB)
- Copyright_AVCC_Resource_paper_IT_Systems_Mar_07.pdf (Information, PDF File, 115.9 KB)
- Copyright_amendments_AVCC_update_Feb07.pdf (Information, PDF File, 25.2 KB)
- Copyright Moral Rights (Policy, PDF File, 38.5 KB)
- Copyright Music Societies Licence Agreement (Policy, PDF File, 7.8 MB)
- Copyright_Electronic_copying_and_communication.pdf (Policy, PDF File, 89.0 KB)
- Intellectual Property policy (Policy, PDF File, 36.6 KB)
- Image_reference_list_template_Oct_2008.pdf (Training, PDF File, 68.0 KB)
- Applies to: All Staff and Students
- Owner: PVC (Administration & Resources)
- Having trouble finding up-to-date policies and procedures?