Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Copyright for Students

The following information is intended to provide a general guide for students. It will be updated as part of a revision of CSU's Copyright site.

Your Own Work

Generally, students own the copyright in the work that they produce as part of their CSU course (see also Charles Sturt University's Intellectual Property Policy). This means that the use of their work is protected by the Copyright Act, 1968.

The Work of Others

Students should be aware that the work of others is also protected by copyright. You generally need permission to do such things as copy another person's work, or to email it or put it online. The Copyright Act gives some exceptions, however, under which people can copy the work of others without their permission.

Top of page

Fair Dealing for Research or Study

One of the exceptions in the Copyright Act is 'fair dealing', where people are able to copy others' work for certain purposes. 'Dealing' means using someone else's work in a way that is covered by the Copyright Act, such as copying it. Whether this is done in a 'fair' way depends on whether you are using it for one of the allowed purposes and the context in which you use it.

  • research or study;
  • criticism or review;
  • parody or satire;
  • reporting news; or
  • legal advice.

Articles

The fair dealing provisions permit the copying of the whole or part of an article from a periodical. You may copy more than one article from the same issue of a periodical, if they are for the same research or course of study.

Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic Works

The fair dealing provisions also permit the copying of a 'reasonable portion' from a literary, dramatic or musical work. What makes up a reasonable portion will depend on the circumstances but generally is 10% of the number of pages of a work where a work has more than ten pages, or one chapter where a work is divided into chapters. If copying a literary or dramatic work from an electronic original, it would be 10% of the number of words. For notated music a reasonable portion would be 10% of the whole (for audio files or sound recordings, see 'Audio-Visual Items' below).

In deciding whether or not copying a larger amount, or copying an artistic work, will constitute fair dealing, the Copyright Act doesn't define fair dealing precisely, but states that the following fairness factors are to be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the dealing;
  • the nature of the work or adaptation;
  • the possibility of obtaining the work or adaptation within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price;
  • the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the work or adaptation; and
  • in a case where part only of the work or adaptation is reproduced - the amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole work or adaptation.

Top of page

Audio-visual Items

There is a fair dealing exception for copying an audio-visual item for the purpose of research or study. In deciding whether copying an audio-visual item will constitute fair dealing, the Copyright Act doesn't define fair dealing precisely, but states that the following fairness factors are to be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the dealing;
  • the nature of the audio-visual item;
  • the possibility of obtaining the audio-visual item within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price;
  • the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the audio-visual item; and
  • in a case where only part of the item is copied - the amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole item.

Copyright guidelines for film and media students

Limits to Protection under Fair Dealing

Fair dealing for the purpose of research or study only applies to the individual who is making the copy. That is, you can copy someone else's work for your private research or study but you cannot put it online for the benefit of other people unless this is specifically required by your course, for example as part of working on a group assignment in a restricted access network.

If you copy another person's work for the purpose of your research or study, then that is the only use of the material that is protected. If you then take the material and use it for another purpose entirely, for example seeking employment, or selling copies, it is no longer fair dealing and you will need to seek permission.

Moral Rights

The creators of works have moral rights under the Copyright Act. These are:

  • the right to be attributed when their work is used;
  • the right not to have their work falsely attributed; and
  • the right of integrity, that is, not to have the work treated in such a way as to be prejudicial to the author's honour or integrity.

Thus you must always attribute work that you have copied for your research or study.

This advice is intended to be of a general nature only. Students may seek further information on what they may copy from:

Kerry Vaughan, Copyright Coordinator

copyright@csu.edu.au
Phone: (02) 6933 4272
International Fax +61 2 (02) 6933 2900

Top of page