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Referencing Style Guide: Copyright



The "Statutory Education Licence guidelines poster" is used by permission of Copyright Agency

Copyright is the right to copy a work and includes the right to do other things  such as publish, communicate or publicly perform a work. A work is defined as a creative, original work - such as a piece of music, a novel, a painting or photograph, a play or movie. Copyright in Australia is governed by law and is automatically assigned on the creation of a work  - you don't have to apply for it. Copyright only lasts for a limited period of time. Usually this is 70 years after the creator dies, but there are some instances where it is less. The copyright system provides an environment that fosters the creation of new content for the benefit of society as a whole (ALIA, 2020)

Click here to learn more about the history of copyright 



Linking is best practice

  • Library website  - use permalinks and links from subscribed databases.  For streamed media use link or embed code. 
  • Open access - use digital object identifier (DOI)

Find an answer from the Australian Copyright Council. Browse by A - Z.

  • Copyright enables creators to manage how their content is used. Copyright owners have a number of exclusive economic rights (ie copyrights) in relation to how their copyright material is used.Under s113P of the Copyright Act 1968, the educational licence allows all educational institutions in Australia to copy and share third party copyright text, images and print music provided that they agree to pay a fee for that use; and it is for the educational purposes of the organisation.  The College pays an annual licence fee to the Copyright Agency  which allows staff to make certain copies without seeking permission, from both print and online sources. You are allowed to copy:
  • Up to 10% or one chapter (whichever greater) from a print or electronic work  
  • Images in their entirety (images from physical sources must usually be surrounded by text)
  • An entire text work if it is part of an anthology and provided it is no longer than 15 pages long
  • One whole article from any newspaper, journal or periodical. More than one article may be copied if on the same subject
  • Entire work, if not available for purchase (i.e. out of print)
  • This does not cover  films, TV, radio or YouTube. ACPE's  Screenrights licence covers this. You may embed, clip, download and edit any streamed videos retrieved from ACPE's subscribed databases. EduTv, Kanopy and Dance in Video are especially useful for this. However for videos from other sources please check the licence before you use the resource. Netflix, commercial and borrowed DVDs are not covered by the Screenrights licence. Section 28 of the Copyright Act covers DVD and films in lectures. 

Copyright - Statutory Education Licence

"The Statutory Educational Licence YouTube Clip" is used by permission of Copyright Agency

The Australian Government has appointed the Copyright Agency to manage the education copying scheme (Statutory Education Licence). The licence, set out in the Copyright Act 1968, allows educators to copy and share text and images in ways that usually require permission provided that fair compensation is made to the creators of the content.



Copyright, Referencing & Plagiarism

Copyright deals with the right to copy a work and referencing deals with the creator/authorship. Regardless of a work's copyright status, you always have an obligation to reference it - cite and attribute it - otherwise you could be plagiarising. Plagiarism is not a legal issue - it's an ethical one. It is taking someone else's work, or more usually ideas, and claiming they are your own.

Copyright and Public Domain

Under Australian copyright law, work published (anywhere in the world) in an author's lifetime are, in Australia, protected for the life of the author plus 70 years from the end of the year of the author's death. After the protection period, they enter the "public domain"  - meaning out of copyright. For  more information about the duration of copyright see the Australian Government's factsheet here. Regardless of a work's copyright status, you always have an obligation to cite and attribute it.



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