Instead of copying material from a website, you can provide a link to the URL so the reader may access content for themselves. Ensure any links are to authorised and legal copies that have been provided by the copyright holders. If you link to unlawful content, this is considered an infringement of copyright as you are authorising or facilitating an infringement.
Curtin University material
Curtin staff and students may copy material in which Curtin University owns the copyright, as long as the material is not sensitive or marked ‘Confidential’. There are no limits to the amount that can be copied or the form of reproduction or communication. Access should normally be restricted to Curtin staff and students.
Out of courtesy, you should notify the staff or area that created the material. Make it clear on any copies or communication of the material that Curtin is the copyright owner.
The University does not always own the copyright in material produced by its staff and students. For clarification, see the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures.
Material which is ‘out of copyright’
Copyright does not last forever, and once it has expired you can copy material without the copyright owner’s permission. Material where copyright has expired is available in the ‘public domain’. The duration of copyright varies depending on the type of material, its country of origin and when it was made. In Australia, copyright material is generally protected for the life of the creator plus 70 years. For further information, refer to the Australian Copyright Council information sheet on the Duration of Copyright.
Material available under an open licence
If material has an open licence attached that permits re-use, you may copy the material without permission. Use is conditional on the type of licence model applied. The most common open licence is Creative Commons. Check the attribution details attached to the resource for terms and conditions. For example, some Creative Commons licences do not permit adaptation or modification of the material (No Derivative Works). See Open Educational Resources for more information.
Copying with permission of the copyright owner
You should approach the copyright owner for permission if:
- you are unsure if the copying is permitted under a copyright exception such as fair dealing or statutory licences.
- you wish to copy more than you are allowed under copyright provisions.
- the material is covered by a licence agreement or contract that prohibits copying or a particular use of the material.
- you want to include material in a thesis to be made available through espace (Curtin’s institutional repository).
- you want to include material in a publication or website.
- you want to copy material that has not been made available to the public (e.g. private letters, manuscripts, student work, confidential documents, internal company documents, etc.).
Ensure that you get permission in writing and keep a record of it. In your request:
- identify the material you want to use,
- describe how you intend to use the material and
- describe who will have access to the material.
It is worth noting if the use will be non-commercial and for educational purposes as this may make the copyright holder more willing to give you permission. It is important to abide by any conditions imposed by the copyright owner. Make it clear on any copies you make that the material has been copied with the permission of the copyright owner.
For help in identifying copyright holders and requesting permission, contact the University Copyright team.