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What is copyright?

  • the right to reproduce the work
  • the right to communicate the work
  • the right to control public performance and screenings
  • the right to make adaptations.

Aims of copyright law

  • to reward people who do creative or intellectual work
  • to give incentive to people who create new works
  • to stop people getting an unfair advantage from the work of others.

Material eligible for copyright protection

  • written material
  • computer programs and compilations
  • artistic works
  • musical works 
  • dramatic works
  • films
  • sound recordings.

It does not protect ideas, names, titles or slogans

Copyright protection

  • copyright protection is free and automatic
  • there is no system for registration
  • the absence of the copyright symbol does not mean the work is not protected
  • protection expires 70 years form the date in which the author dies

Moral rights

In addition to the rights under the Copyright Act, authors have the right to:

  • gain identification as the creator
  • object to derogatory treatment
  • take action for false attribution.

Exemptions to exclusive use

Insubstantial portions

  • allows multiple copies
  • not more than 1% of the total pages (or words) if total pages not more than 200, or 2 pages if less than 200
  • applies to literary and dramatic works NOT musical or artistic works
  • no need for record keeping as not part of statutory licences.

Fair dealing - allows free use for purposes of:

  • study or research
  • criticism and review
  • news reporting
  • professional advice
  • for personal use, not institutional use
  • does not allow multiple copying.

Statutory licences

  • Part VB licence - covers all copying and communication of print and graphic work
  • Part VA licence - covers all copying and communication of radio, TV, cable and satellite.

Other exemptions

  • performances in class for teaching purposes
  • statutory licences to assist people with disabilities
  • voluntary licences
  • Insubstantial portions.

The information on this website is intended as a guide for University staff in the use of copyright materials in ways which are compliant with copyright legislation.  Statutory licences for the purposes of educational copying are contained in Part VA (Audio Visual Copying and Communication) and Part VB (Print and Graphic Copying) of the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968

There are very strict rules under which copying can be carried out by staff. Failure to adhere to these rules could result in individual staff members exposing themselves and the University to legal action.

For Audio-Visual Copying and Communication, USQ operates under a sampling scheme whereby the amount which the University pays is determined by the number of students. For Print and Graphic copying, USQ operates under a sample record-keeping notice and as a consequence is required to report all licensed copying to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) during the sampling periods.  

The Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee has compiled a document titled Information Access for Universities which outlines commentary and answers to frequently asked questions about copyright and the Part VA and Part VB Educational Statutory Licenses. Please note this document can be only be accessed by use of your USQConnect password.

Further information

For further information please email