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Copyright - Using Third-Party Content: More Information about Licences

What is a Licence?

A licence is something that authorises, or gives permission.

In copyright terms, a licence refers to the type of authorisation or permission that you are using in order to make a copy of the material. There are a number of licences (or ways that you can be authorised) to make a copy of material in which the copyright belongs to someone else.


Each licence has different requirements with which you must comply, including various types of attribution.  Where possible, choose material (articles, recommended readings, video clips, images) which have the fewest attribution requirements.


At South Metropolitan TAFE, we focus mainly on using the following licences (or authorisations), in order of preference:

1.   Where possible, use material where the copyright is owned by South Metropolitan TAFE.  There are no copyright issues, and attribution is simple.

2.   Seek permission directly from the copyright owner.  This option is used mostly when creating print resources, such as student readers, but you can also seek permission to copy in an electronic environment.

3.   Where possible, source information through the Library's electronic resources (databases, ebooks, ejournals).  There are no copyright or attribution requirements, provided you link directly to the source material.

4.   If no Library electronic resources are suitable, you may find material online that has been made available under a Creative Commons (or similar) licence.  There are few copyright issues with material made available under Creative Commons licences, provided the material is correctly attributed.

5.   If none of the options above are suitable, then use the Copyright Act 1968 Statutory Licences Part VA (television and radio) or Part VB (text and images).   Be aware that there are limitations on how much of a resource you can copy, and attribution rules are more complex.  You will also have to display appropriate notices with the copyright material.

Copyright Statutory Licences VA and VB

The Copyright Act provides two Statutory Licences, which enshrine special provisions that enable educational institutions to copy and communicate copyright information for educational purposes.  

Polytechnic West participates in these licence schemes, along with all other State Training Providers.  Fees are paid on our behalf to the administrators of the Statutory Licences (Screenrights Australia and the Copyright Agency Limited), who in turn compensate copyright owners for the use of their material in Australian schools, colleges and universities.

Part VA Statutory Licence

The Part VA Statutory Licence covers the copying of television and radio for educational purposes.  Note that when you are communicating copies online, you must include an appropriate attribution, including a link to the Part VA Notice.  

This Notice is available on ecampus at      


      With a Part VA (Screenrights) licence you can copy:

  • Any program – movies, current affairs, documentaries, news
  • Any amount – copy five minutes or an entire drama, make one copy or 20, it’s up to you
  • Anywhere – make copies at home or in your library
  • From any channel – copy from free to air TV, pay TV or radio
  • Podcasts and vodcasts – copy broadcast material made available online by the broadcaster
  • In any format – copy onto VHS, DVD or store digital copies on a hard drive or other device

       And make the following uses of your copies:

  • Show them in class
  • Keep them in the library as an ongoing resource
  • Store them on a network for staff and students
  • Email them to staff and students
  • Show them on an electronic whiteboard

Copied under Part VB
Audio-Visual Copyright Society Limited trading as Screenrights. (2011). Australian educational licence. Retrieved from


Part VB Statutory Licence

The Part VB statutory licence covers the copying and communicating of text, images and print music for educational purposes.  The quantities are limited to a "reasonable portion" of the material.  Note that you must provide a correct attribution for all material copied under Statutory Licence Part VB, including (in the case of material made available online) a link to the VB Notice.  

This notice is available on eCampus at:



      With a Part VB (Copyright Agency Limited) licence you can copy          a "reasonable portion" of text and images:

  • in any format
  • digital or hard copy
  • online or offline
  • Australian or foreign
  • published or unpublished

       And make the following uses of your copies:

  • Hardcopy content: photocopying, scanning.
  • Digital content: saving to disk, printing, making available online, emailing.
  • Include them in the creation of new teaching materials or readers
  • Include them on eCampus pages

      What is a "Reasonable Portion"?

  • 10% of the words, or one chapter, if that is more than 10%.
  • 1 article from a journal, or two articles if the journal is a special issue on a single topic.
  • 10% of a musical work.
  • 100% of an image from a printed work, provided it cannot be purchased at a reasonable price and within a reasonable time frame.
  • 100% of an image from a freely available website.
  • No more than one chapter or article from the same source can be available at the same time.


Copied under Part VB
Copyright Agency Limited. (2012). Content teachers can use. Retrieved from



Material owned by South Metropolitan TAFE

Material which is created by South Metropolitan TAFE can be used freely in your teaching materials, as it isn't third-party content.  You should always use the attribution © South Metropolitan TAFE [year], when using locally developed materials.  No further attribution is necessary. 

Material copied with permission

When you want to use the work of another author, you can seek permission directly to do so, by contacting the copyright owner.  Copying with permission is most often undertaken when creating printed materials, such as readers, but you can seek permission to make print or electronic copies or both.  

If seeking permission from a copyright owner, you must use the standard template.

You must comply with any limitations on use imposed by the copyright owner in their permission.

Ensure that written permission of the copyright owner is included on the  Register of Copyright and Licences.





Library licenced electronic resources

Material from the Library's licenced electronic resources can be used freely in eCampus, provided no additional copies of the material are made.  If you provide URL LINKS to the material, rather than uploading copies to eCampus, you can go ahead and provide as many links as you like.  You do not need to provide copyright attibutions for the items you are linking to.   You can link to entire ebooks and journals if you want to.  Linking to licenced electronic resoruces is a great way to provide your students with recommended readings.

If you do want to make a copy of a licenced electronic resource (for example by uploading an item to eCampus), then you must comply with the requirements of the Copyright Act (1968) Statutory Licences Parts VA or VB, and provide appropriate attributions for each entry. See Attribtion Examples for how to attribute material under Part VA or Part VB licences.

More information about linking to Library licenced electronic resources.

Attribution of Library licenced electronic resources: 

Electronic copy - Linked - No copyright attribution required. 

Electronic copy - Uploaded - Must comply with Part VA or Part VB limitations.  Your attribution much include your citation and a link to the relevant VA or VB notice.

Print copy - Must comply with VB limitations.  Ensure you have an appropriate attribution statement on the verso of your document (when creating a reader, for example), and/or that you have appropriately cited the source in the reference list of your document.

Creative Commons Explained

Creative Commons licence

Many authors make their materials available for others to use freely.  The most common licence under which material is made available is the Creative Commons licence.

 In Australia, we currently use Creative Commons v3.0 (CC BY 3.0 AU) or Creative Commons v4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Under a Creative Commons licence, you are free to use the material, but must include a full attribution indicating the source of the material, and also comply with any other restrictions or explicit conditions imposed by the variation of the licence that you are using.   

Those restrictions and conditions may include:

  • BY - Attribution required (this applies to all Creative Commons licences)/
  • NC - for Non-Commercial purposes only (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU or CC BY-NC 4.0)
  • ND - No Derivative or adapted works may be created from this work.  It should be used verbatim only (CC BY-ND 3.0 AU or CC BY-ND 4.0).
  • SA - Share Alike allows the adaption or creative of derivative works, but only on the condition that the derivative work is also make available to others under the same conditions as the original work (CC BY-SA 3.0 AU or CC BY-SA 4.0)

Creative Commons licences can also be offered with a combination of different conditions.  For example

  • CC BY-NC-SA (attribution, non-commercial, share alike)
  • CC BY-NC-ND (attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives)
  • Note that the SA (share alike) condition can only apply to material which allows derivative works.

Refer to the Creative Commons Choose a Licence page, to learn more about which licence might be right for you if you are creating new material.  

Find out more about Creative Commons from the Smartcopy CC website

See Attribution Examples for how to attribute Creative Commons materials.  Note that you must include the Creative Commons logo linked back to the site.

For a comprehensive explanation of the range of Creative Commons Licences, see


More on Creative Commons and Copyright