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Copyright essentials

1. Copyright protection is automatic:

Copyright protects almost all texts, graphic works, audio-visual items and artworks. Protection is automatic and does not require the © symbol or any formal registration. Copyright generally lasts 70 years from the death of the creator, or from the date of first publication. After this period, the work is in the public domain.

2. Using text and graphic works:

Curtin participates in a Statutory Licence agreement with the Copyright Agency which permits staff to copy and communicate most text or graphic works for educational purposes. There are limits on how much can be copied and labelling requirements for online communication. For online communication the copying limits apply University wide so staff are directed to arrange unit readings through the Library Reading List service when making this content available online (e.g. via Blackboard).

3. Using radio/TV broadcasts:

Curtin participates in a Statutory Licence agreement with Screenrights which permits staff to copy and communicate radio and television broadcasts recorded off-air for educational purposes. This includes podcasts of broadcast material. All or part of a program may be copied and communicated and there are labelling requirements. The Statutory Licence does NOT cover copying of commercial videos and the use of video on demand services (e.g. Netflix). For commercial videos, contact the Library for streaming options through commercial providers.

4. Using music:

Curtin participates in a collective Music Licence which permits staff to copy and communicate recorded music for use in teaching materials or at official University events. There are marking and labelling requirements.

5. ‘Fair dealing’:

The ‘fair dealing’ provisions of the Copyright Act permit staff and students to copy a reasonable portion of a copyright work for their own research or study, or the purpose of criticism or review.

6. Copying for students with a disability:

Provisions in the Australian Copyright Act relating to copying for students with a disability were amended substantially in June 2017.   These changes  are summarised in people with disabilities.

7. Misuse of ICT facilities:

Curtin staff and students must not use the University’s ICT facilities to download, store, share or communicate any copyright-infringing material such as illegitimate films, music files, software or computer games. Further information is in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy Manual.

8. Content covered by licence agreements:

Curtin staff and students must comply with the terms and conditions of content provided under a commercial contract or licence agreement, e.g. journal articles in a Library database.

9. Copyright ownership of work produced at Curtin University:

As a general rule, Curtin owns the copyright in teaching and administrative materials that staff produce as part of their normal employment. Academic staff and students normally own the copyright in scholarly publications, art works, assignments, etc. that they produce. Further information is in Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property Procedures.

10. Copyright in other countries:

Curtin staff and students who want to copy and communicate teaching materials in an offshore location must observe the copyright requirements that apply in the overseas country concerned.

Further information

    • Refer to the resources page for more information about copyright usage.
    • A copy of Curtin’s Copyright Procedure is available at Curtin University’s policy page.
    • For specific copyright queries contact the Library Copyright Team.