Text & images

The information on this page is for educators at Curtin who wish to use copyrighted material in their teaching, either through readings or course material (e.g. powerpoints).

Type of material Amount that can be copied
Journals and newspapers One article per issue, two or more articles per issue if they relate to the same subject matter
Books 10% of the words, or 10% of the pages, or one chapter, whichever is greater
Website content We recommend checking the “terms of use” for permitted and prohibited uses. Always link to websites rather than uploading site material to Blackboard.
Conference papers Use depends on whether the material is published as a journal article (if including in regular conference proceedings), as a book chapter (if include in one-off conference proceedings); or as a whole work. If the paper is a whole work, you will only be permitted to copy 10% of it
Anthologies An entire work in an anthology (for example, a short story or a poem) can be copied if the work is less than 15 pages. If more than 15 pages long, you may copy 10% or one chapter, whichever is applicable.
Artistic works (e.g. images, diagrams, maps, tables, etc.) These may be copied together with the text to explain the work. The whole of an artistic work may be copied unless it has been separately published. If separately published, the artwork may only be copied if you license its use, or it is out of print or unavailable (see point below).
Exams You are able to copy and communicate any amount of a copyrighted work to include in exam questions, whether the exam takes place in person or online. Ensure that only Curtin staff and students can access the exam, and attribute the source. This only applies to assessable components of the course. If administering a practice exam or quiz (i.e. a non-assessable element), the usual statutory license restrictions apply.
Out of print or unavailable material More than the 10% limit may be used if the University is satisfied, after checking availability, that copies of the work cannot be obtained within a reasonable time and at an ordinary commercial price
Short quotes and extracts These should be limited to 1-2 pages, or 1% of the words of the material, and do not require the copyright warning notice

The following are some best practices for making sure your unit is copyright compliant.

  • Use the Reading List system to host course readings. Reading Lists is Curtin’s course resource and copyright management system. Reading Lists provides access to eBooks, book chapters, journal articles, audiovisual materials and more.
  • Link, don’t upload. If you are using documents (such as PDFs) that are available online, provide links rather than uploading the document to Blackboard.
  • Attribute and reference. All content, including images, should be attributed or cited according to the appropriate referencing style.
  • Use the Copyright Warning Notice. If you are using copyrighted text excerpts or images in your learning materials (e.g. PowerPoints, handouts), you must include the Copyright Warning Notice on these materials. This is a condition of the statutory education license, which enables Curtin staff to use this material.
  • Use Curtin branding on all learning materials. Make sure all materials contain the Curtin logo, CRICOS code, unit information, author and date. This helps to make Curtin materials easily identifiable if they are found on external ‘study help’ sites. See the Curtin Brand Toolkit for templates.
  • Review links to online materials. Make sure that any material you are linking to is copyright compliant. For example, check the uploader accounts of YouTube videos to ensure that they are reliable sources.
  • For more information, please see the Blackboard copyright best practice guidelines, and the checklist for reviewing copyright compliance in unit material.

If you are hosting unit materials on Canvas, you are required to use openly licensed content as your unit readings. These can be links to ‘free to read’ content, copies of scholarly journal articles through an open repository rather than a paywalled publisher site, or website content where the terms of use permit educational use. Learn more about finding open materials, and review the information on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), below.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are delivered online and often freely available to the public. They are designed to engage with large numbers of users. Here are some answers to copyright questions related to MOOCs.

Can I use the University’s statutory education license to use copyrighted material in a MOOC?

The statutory education license requires that material be limited to only Curtin staff and students. Material must be provided and monitored through the Reading List service. If a MOOC doesn’t comply with these requirements, it cannot rely on the license to use copyrighted materials.

Can copyrighted materials be provided under a “fair dealing” exception in a MOOC?

The Fair Dealing exception in the Copyright Act, which permits copying a limited amount of material for the purposes of ‘research or study’ and ‘criticism or review’, is unlikely to apply to MOOCs due to the large scale use of the MOOC. When using this exception, the purpose (‘research or study’ and ‘criticism or review’) is determined by the person dealing with the copyright work. For example, an instructor cannot post third party material on behalf of a student’s ‘research and study’. The exception may however be used by course participants who are evaluating a copyright work for ‘criticism or review’.

What copyrighted material can I use a MOOC?

Finding material that can be used in a MOOC can require some creativity, and would benefit from the support of a Faculty Librarian. Some types of material you can use in a MOOC include:

  • University owned content, e.g. publications where Curtin University owns the copyright.
  • Links to online content (rather than uploads). Make sure the content is accessible to the general public and is from reputable sources.
  • Openly licensed and public domain content. Learn more about finding open materials.
  • Content you have obtained permission to use. If there is no visible licence on material that indicates permission to re-use, contact the rights holder and obtain permission in writing. Permission via email correspondence is acceptable. Make sure you retain a copy of the permission. To be transparent with your use of the material, you could note in the first page of the material that it has been reproduced with permission and in the last page of the material include a copy of the permission itself. Ensure the copy of the permission has any sensitive or personal information removed.

Protecting your copyright as a MOOC developer.

When developing your MOOC, there should be a contract between the University, instructor(s) and/or the MOOC provider. This contract will specify who owns the course materials. The contract may require that you licence or assign your copyright in the course materials to the MOOC provider.

Before formalising any agreement, consider the conditions you want to attach to the course materials you create. Perhaps the course materials can be made available as an open access resource, enabling other educators to use them?

See the Forms and Templates page.