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Avoiding copyright infringement

You may only copy, communicate, publish, perform, or adapt copyright material if permitted by an exception in the Copyright Act, or if you have permission of the copyright holder.

Copyright infringement occurs when you reproduce or communicate a ‘substantial part’ of copyright material without permission of the copyright holder, or under an exception in the Copyright Act.

A ‘substantial part’ is an important, distinctive or essential part of copyright material. Generally, if the portion you wish to use is key, distinct, important or essential to the work, it is likely to be considered a substantial portion.

Generally, it is not an infringement of copyright if:

  • The use fits one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act
  • You obtain permission in writing from the copyright holder
  • The copy and communication is permitted under the terms of the University’s Statutory Licence agreements
  • The material is an older work no longer protected by copyright (‘public domain’)
  • Copyright is owned by Curtin University
  • The material has been licensed for use by the University
  • The material is covered by an open licence, such as Creative Commons, that permits re-use