What can I copy and communicate?

Educators can take advantage of certain licences that provide scope for limited reproduction if required for educational purposes:
Statutory Licences: schemes paid for by educational institutions that allow teachers to copy and communicate material without permission from the copyright owner under specific guidelines.

The two most relevant to educators are the:

Statutory Print Licence & Statutory Broadcast Licence

Part VB Statutory Print Licence

Teachers can copy and communicate literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works for educational purposes including:
  • sheet music
  • song lyrics
  • plays
  • poems
  • maps etc.

  • text books
  • newspaper articles
  • paintings
  • diagrams
  • photographs

Material can be reproduced by photocopying, scanning, printing, saving and downloading material from the Internet and electronic resources
such as CD Roms and E-books and copying material on portable devices including iPods, MP3 players, mobile phones and USBs.

There are copying limits:

  • 10% of a literary work or 1 chapter of a book, 10% of words on a website or CD Rom
  • One article in a journal, 2 articles if on the same subject matter

Can copy the whole work if:
  • it has not been separately published
  • it is not commercially available within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

For more information, see the “Education Licence B” in the“National Copyright Guidelines”

Part VA Statutory Broadcast Licence

This covers the copying and communication of:
  • Free to air TV
  • Pay TV
  • Radio broadcasts
  • Free podcasts and webcasts made available on the broadcaster’s website.

There is no limit on how much you can copy, format shifting is permitted and if you want to put a copy on an interactive whiteboard, LMS, wiki, blog or school intranet, you must attach this notice.

For more information see:

“Education Licence A” in the “National Copyright Guidelines”

Performing or Communicating Material

Schools are allowed to perform copyright material in class under a free exception in the Copyright Act (section 28).
However, some uses are not permitted, for example:

  • performing a work, such as a poem, or playing a film or sound recording to the parents of students
  • showing a film at lunch on a rainy day, at a camp or for a fundraising activity when no teaching is involved
  • making content available on an intranet or a content management system where it is not for the purpose of showing the content in class

See information sheet: “Performance and Communication– What am I allowed to do?”

s.200AB Flexible Dealing

When no statutory licence or free use exception applies to your use, use ‘Flexible Dealing’ exception.
For example, you can:
  • Add captions to films to assist hearing impaired students
  • Compile a ‘montage’ of film clips for use in class
  • Convert CDs and DVDs to digital format when not otherwise available
  • Add extracts of music to PowerPoint teaching aids

There are specific requirements of Flexible Dealing which must be met:
  • It must be for educational purposes
  • It must not be for profit
  • It must not deprive the copyright owner of revenue nor interfere with the quality or integrity of the piece

  • Do not use pirated material.
  • ‘Just in case’ format shifting is not permitted.
  • Try not to copy more than you need.
  • Ensure access is limited to those students who need the item.

See information sheet: “The New Flexible Dealing Exception – What am I allowed to do?”

If you encounter Access Technological Protection Measures (ATPMs) on items you are trying to format shift or reproduce:

  • encryption
  • passwords
  • copy protection
  • region coding