Policy Academic Governance Copyright Policy and Procedure

Copyright Policy and Procedure

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1. Overview

Copyright is, essentially, a bundle of exclusive rights of the owner to publish, copy, adapt, broadcast and perform material contained in literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, and in computer software, sound recordings, films, and broadcasts.

The owner is generally the author or maker of the copyright material, but may be another person, or legal entity, in accord with the Copyright Act. Matters of ownership of copyright are discussed in the University's policy on Intellectual Property.

There are exceptions to exclusion from the use of another's copyright. The owner may permit or licence another to exercise copyright, or some exercise of copyright may be allowed under the law, either free of charge or subject to equitable payment to the copyright owner. These exceptions are clarified in no. 6, below. The terms of expiry of copyright in covered in no. 5.

This document seeks to provide general guidance on the copying which may be undertaken legitimately within the University.

However: copyright as it affects educational institutions is a complex issue and specific queries should be addressed to copyright@jcu.edu.au in the first instance.

2. Policy

All copying of copyright material undertaken by the University shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 and any relevant copyright agreement(s) currently in force.

3. Legislative Requirements

The University is subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968.

4. Infringement of Copyright

Use of University equipment, facilities and/or premises for a purpose which infringes copyright is expressly forbidden. Any person who commits such an infringement shall be personally liable under the Copyright Act. The University may also be found liable.

5. Expiry of Copyright

Generally copyright lasts in a work for 70 years after the death of the creator, or 70 years after its first publication.  If copyright expired before 1 January 2005, it was not revived, even if it was less than 70 years.

For photographs in which copyrights still subsisted on 1 January 2005, or which are created on or after that date, copyright lasts until 70 years from the end of the year in which the photographer died, or 70 years after its first publication. Copyright has expired in photos taken prior to 1 January 1955.

6. Use of Copyright without Infringement

6.1 Voluntary Licence

The copyright owner may authorise another to use one or more of the exclusive rights, freely or under licence. These licences should be carefully observed - a computing software licence, for example, may be restricted to a particular site, person, machine, or use.

6.2 Individual Use of Copyright as a Fair Dealing

Individual staff or students may copy some copyright material for the purposes of research, study, or review, so long as the copying is "fair dealing".

For literary, dramatic and musical works copy is fair dealing if taken of:

(i) the whole or part of one article in a periodical publication (or more than one article, if they relate to the same subject matter); or

(ii) for other works of more than 10 pages, a "reasonable portion" of the work, that is: 10% of the total number of pages, or one chapter, whichever is the greater.

The Act does not provide a firm guide as to what constitutes fair dealing with other works (less than 10 pages), or audio-visual items. Also, more extensive copying than that allowed for by the above conditions may constitute fair dealing for the purpose of research or study. Advice should be sought as to application of the broad criteria set out in the Act.

6.3 University Use of Copyright

[Note that although computer programs are defined by the Act as literary works, they are not covered by this sub-section (6.3). See no. 8, below.]

6.3.1 Insubstantial Portions of Literary and Dramatic Works

Multiple copies may be freely taken of two pages of a work, or of up to 1% of the total pages (whichever is the greater), for teaching purposes only. These copies must be taken on the University premises, and no further copies of the same work may be taken under these same provisions, by or for any staff member, within fourteen days.

Note that the copying of a whole work cannot be deemed insubstantial, even if it is less than two pages in length.

6.3.2 Multiple Copies of Literary, Dramatic, Musical and Artistic Works

The University is authorised under Statutory Licence to make multiple copies of copyright material for teaching purposes. It is common practice for such copies to be collated into anthologies of readings.

Operating under the agreement does not allow for indiscriminate copying; the following only may be copied-

(i) the whole or part of one article in a periodical publication (or more than one article, if they relate to the same subject matter); or

(ii) the whole or part of a literary or dramatic work of no more than 15 pages in an anthology; or

(iii) the whole or part of any work that has not been published separately; or

(iv) for other works of more than 10 pages, a "reasonable portion" of the work, that is: 10% of the total number of pages or one chapter, whichever is the greater.

Provision is also made for the copying of more than a reasonable portion of a work, if reasonable investigation showed that new copies could not be obtained within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

Copies may be made by, or on behalf of, another educational institution under statutory licence.

For information regarding statutory licence copying please contact the Special Collections and Copyright Officer at the Library in Townsville.

Copying outside of these conditions could result in the University losing the right to produce multiple copies under licence.

Note that copy must not be sold or otherwise supplied for financial profit. If any charge is levied on the supply of copy, including anthologies of readings, it should only cover costs. This applies to sales handle either through the individual College or through the University Bookshop.

6.3.3 Television and Radio

Under statutory licence, the University may reproduce, for educational purposes, in any manner or in any form, the whole or part of television or radio broadcasts including any works, cinematograph films and sound recordings comprised in such a broadcast.

There are no limits on the type of programs that may be copied or the number of copies that may be made. Copies may also be made by, or for, another educational institution under statutory licence.

However, it is not permitted under the scheme to copy pre-recorded material such as commercially purchased or hired videocassettes or records. (Since the blank tape royalty collection scheme was ruled invalid by the High Court in 1993, there has been widespread domestic infringement of copyright.)

All such tapes or the containers in which they are kept, must be marked with: the University name, a reference to Part VA of the Copyright Act, the date of broadcast, and the date the copy was made (if different).

7. Administering Copy under Statutory Licence

The University is party to agreements with two Collecting Societies who represent copyright owners, under statutory licence; with Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) for copying of print material, and with Audio-Visual Copyright Society Limited (AVCS) for off-air copying of broadcast material.

7.1 Charges to the University

(i) The charges for copying (print and broadcast) material provided to students enrolled for an award of the University are calculated on an EFTSU basis and random sampling by an external agency.

(ii) Charges for print material provided for non-award short courses are based on the income received by the University from those courses.

(iii) The charges for copying broadcast material provided to award students enrolled for an award of the University are determined by EFTSU numbers and by random sampling by an external agency.

(iv) There is as yet no agreement between the University and AVCS regarding the copying of broadcasts for non-award short courses.

(v) The annual payments to CAL and AVCS come from central funds.

7.2   Sampling surveys

Sampling is a necessary burden which must be born by departments, in order that these agreements, which allow multiple copying, can continue. The alternative, which would require the keeping of meticulous records, by departments, of all such copying, would represent an even more onerous - and persistent - burden.

8. Copying of Computer Programs

Although computer programs are defined under the Copyright Act as literary works, they are expressly excluded from the statutory licences for copying for educational use.

The Act permits the owner of a legitimate copy of a computer program to make a back-up copy of the program, for the sole purpose of using it in place of the purchased copy if this is lost, destroyed or rendered unusable. The back-up copy may not be made if the copyright owner makes an express direction to that effect at or before the time of purchase, for example on the package.

9. Further Information

Staff seeking further information may refer to:

(i) The AVCC: Copyright; A Comprehensive Guide for Higher Education

(ii) The AVCC: Copyright Bulletin

These are available through the University Library.

Approval Details

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainStudent Experience

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Clause 5 updated to reflect current legislation

Director Library & Information Services




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework.

Quality, Standards and Policy




Policy established

Approved by Policy and Procedure Review Committee



Contact personDirector, Library Services and University Librarian