Australian copyright law is legislated at Federal level by the Australian parliament. It covers literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, and subject matter such as published editions, sound recordings, broadcasts and films. The Copyright Act 1968 (Copyright Act) provides specific Statutory and Voluntary Licence schemes for educational use of copyright material. The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) and Screenrights administer the statutory licences while the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA), AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) are the main organisations which administer the voluntary licences. These uses are paid for by schools. AISNSW provides a channel for independent schools to pay annual per student copyright fees for the two statutory licences as well as the APRA, AMCOS and ARIA licences which cover the main uses of music in schools.

The National Copyright Unit (NCU) is a specialist copyright team responsible for copyright policy and administration for Australian schools and TAFE. NCU maintains a comprehensive series of information sheets providing useful facts, practical advice and scenarios on copyright for schools on the Smartcopying website.

Latest Updates

  1. Consent Forms for Schools– NCU has had a few queries from schools about seeking consent from students to use their works and/or include photos or videos of students in school material, particularly as schools are having to record their students as a result of COVID.

    NCU has drafted 2 separate forms to address this:
    - General student consent form - a form to deal with copyright in a student’s works; and
    - Student photo and video consent form – a separate consent form to deal with privacy in student’s photographs and videos if the school wishes to use photographs or videos of students. NCU does not recommend incorporating the privacy form as part of the general consent form.

    It is not mandatory to use these forms. They are simply templates to assist schools when seeking consent from students for the use of student works. The templates can be modified to suit the individual school’s purpose. These forms will be made available on the website in future.

  2. G Suite Information Sheet - which looks at why making material private is important and provides a quick guide on how to materials private on G Suite.

  3. Open Educational resources (OER) and Creative Commons (CC) licensing. 

OER are teaching and learning materials that are freely available for everyone to use whether you are a teacher, student or self- learner and can be freely distributed, adapted, translated, remixed and improved. They can be in any format including hard copy and digital text, audio, video, images, interactive multimedia and combinations of these. OER resources are usually licensed under Creative Commons (CC). CC is a suite of licences that creates a “some rights reserved” model. The copyright owner retains copyright in their work while inviting certain uses of their work by the public. A good place to start is our short explainers on OER and CC. 

For more information please visit Smartcopying.