Copyright for Students

What Can Students Copy?

A copyright owner has certain legal and exclusive rights under the Copyright Acts which enables them to control use of their material.  It is a general rule that it is an infringement of copyright to use someone else’s work without the permission of the copyright owner.  However, several important exceptions apply such as copying by educational institutions under the various license agreements, and fair dealing for the purposes of research and study.

If you are unsure about what you can copy and/or use then use the checklist and table below or go to the copyright websites for more detailed information.

Hard Copy Reproductions

Activity Subject Matter Limits per Student
ReproductionsHard Copy to Hard CopyorDigital Literary Works
  • All of a periodical article or more if they are related
  • A reasonable portion – 10% of the pages or one chapter of a book
  • More if not available in a reasonable time
  • All of an item in an anthology if no more than 15 pages
Dramatic Works
  • 10% of the number of pages
  • More if unavailable in a reasonable time
  • All of an item in anthology if no more than 15 pages
Musical Works
  • 10% of the number of pages

Artistic Works

  • All if it illustrates or accompanies the text
  • All if not separately published
  • All if separately published but not available in a reasonable time

No more than the above unless the person is satisfied, after reasonable investigation, that the work is not available within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

‘Copyright : Hard Copy Use Chart’ (n.d.), (Internet), http://www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/internet/copy2.htm accessed 2 August 2006

Electronic (Digital) Reproductions

Activity Subject Matter Limits per Student
ReproductionsDigital to Digital orDigital to Hard Copy Literary Works
  • All of a periodical article or more if they are related
  • A reasonable portion – 10% of the number of words in a work or one chapter
  • More if not available in electronic form in a reasonable time
  • There is no separate provision for copying from digital anthologies
Dramatic Works
  • 10% of the number of words in a work
  • More if unavailable in electronic form in a reasonable time
Musical Works(Printed Music)
  • A reasonable portion – 10% of the work
  • More if not separately published or commercially available in electronic form in a reasonable time
Artistic Works
  • All whether or not separately published and commercially available
No more than the above unless the person is satisfied, after reasonable investigation, that the work is not available within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.
‘Copyright : Electronic Use Chart’ (n.d.), (Internet), http://www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/internet/copy2.htm accessed 2 August 2006

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