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Copyright for teaching staff

What is copyright?

Copyright is a type of intellectual property law that protects a person’s creative skills and labour. It is designed to prevent the unauthorised use of a work – that is, the original form in which an idea or information has been expressed by the creator.

Copyright is automatic for works created in Australia, and there is no registration process involved. Copyright law may vary from country to country however.

What content is covered by copyright?

  • Written works - e.g. books, journal articles, scripts, plays
  • Visual works - e.g. photographs, paintings, sculptures
  • Audio works - e.g. music, podcasts, radio broadcast
  • Multimedia content - e.g. films, television broadcasts, original online video
  • Interactive content - e.g. computer software, video games
  • Online content - e.g. webpages, wikis, blogs

Why do I need to understand copyright?

If you breach copyright on your Moodle site, your eReading lists, or in your lectures and tutorials, you can be held personally liable under the Copyright Act.

You need to think about what you use and how you use it to ensure that your Moodle sites, eReading lists, and lecture materials are copyright complaint. Copyright is complex and whether or not you can use something is going to depend on a number of factors. For example, you can add a link to a video from the Kanopy database to your eReading list, but you can't play the video if you are streaming your lecture. The Copyright for your units tab of this guide provides advice.

All CQUniversity staff and students should be familiar with the university's Copyright Policy.

Please note that all of the fact sheets below covers only non infringing content

Resources in Moodle (Includes lecture slides)

Copyright in Lectures

Where to access open access images 

These fact sheets are also available on StaffNet

Mandatory copyright training is available for all CQUniversity staff via Totara. This training needs to be repeated every 2 years.

Copyright basics + use in teaching is an online training module for:

  • Academic staff
  • Library staff
  • TaSAC staff
  • Moodle staff

All other staff need to complete the Copyright basics module.

You will need your staff log in to access the Copuright training modules.

Creative Commons is the most widely used license for Open Education Resources and other content that creator which to make more widely usable than traditional copyrighted content. Below is a definition of what is allowed by each of the 6 license.

Attribution CC BYAttribution CC BY

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), remix (to adapt the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NoDerivsAttribution-NoDerivs

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided you do not alter, transform or build upon the work and you attribute it in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlikeAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) provided it isn’t used for commercial purposes, you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor and you distribute it under the same license.

Attribution-ShareAlikeAttribution-ShareAlike

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided if you alter, transform or build upon the work provided you distribute it under the similar license.  You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercialAttribution-NonCommercial

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) provided it isn’t used for commercial purposes. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) provided you do not alter, transform or build upon the work or use it for commercial purposes and you attribute it in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Copyright does not last forever. Once the copyright term expires the work enters the public domain. Public domain content can be use freely for any purpose and can be modified in any way. Copyright duration has changed multiple times and as such determine if a work is in the public domain is not always a simple process. 

A through guide is available from the Australian Government's Duration of Copyright. Australian Libraries Copyright Committee has also produced Copyright term flowcharts to assist in determining public domain status.