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Copyright: For Students

Who owns Copyright?

An original work created by a student is protected by Copyright.

Random Photographs

Random Photographs by Parker Michael Knight under a CC BY 2.0 licence

Difference between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is the use of words or ideas from another person used as your own words or ideas.
  • Copyright infringement is the violation of rights that belong to the owner of the work.

The relationship between copyright and plagiarism can be tricky to understand. Plagiarism is a type of misconduct that, in some cases, may also give rise to copyright infringement.

Plagiarism occurs when a student uses someone else’s ideas or words in their work and pretends they are their own. If the student has used a lot of someone else’s words without that person’s permission, copyright infringement may also occur.

More on plagiarism and copyright

Source: Smartcopying

Attributing Copyrighted Works

The author has the right to be identified as the author of the work when it is presented to the public. Therefore, it is important to attribute/label/reference copyrighted works at all times.

Students may attribute using the APA referencing system.

Copyright Exceptions

The Copyright Act's 'Fair Dealing' allows the use of text material without permission for the following purposes:

  1. Research or study - 10% or one chapter/article
  2. Criticism or review - must acknowledge the work
  3. Parody or satire
  4. Reporting news
(Australian Copyright Council Fair Dealing 2008)

What can I copy and how much?

Under Fair Dealing, you may copy or scan for your research or study:

  • One chapter of a book, or 10% of the pages (10% of the words if the work is in electronic form/online)
  • One article from a journal/magazine or newspaper (more if the articles are on the same subject matter in the same issue)
  • Extracts (not whole works)

More information on Fair Dealing

Can I use images in my PowerPoint presentation?

Students can only use third party material under Fair Dealing when the assessment/assignment remains in a classroom setting, between teacher and student. Appropriate attribution/referencing is required at all times.

Students will need to seek permission to use third party material when a PowerPoint presentation is viewed by the public and/or is to be viewed for the purposes of fundraising. (which is considered a commercial/for a profit activity).

Alternatively, students could use Creative Commons (CC) material. Please note that students would need to choose CC items that are not CC NC (Creative Commons Non Commercial) as it could be argued that fundraising would be for commercial use.

Can I play music or stream a video outside of class for a conference/fundraising activity?

Permission is needed from the copyright holder/s. A communication, performance or reproduction of music or video outside of the classroom and for fundraising is not allowed without copyright permission. If unsuccessful in obtaining permission, students could try to find music freely available in the public domain or under Creative Commons, for example students could try the website

Again, some search engines allow searches for Creative Commons material by adding the words ‘creative commons’ to the search terms. The licence terms for Creative Commons material vary so check the licence terms before use.

For more details see Educational Use of Music in TAFE.

Can I copy images from the Internet and place them on a poster which is placed around the institute?

Posters for conferences can be put up but if they contain any third party images/text they still either need permission from the copyright owner or they should be Creative Commons images. This is the case even if it is only institute staff attending.

The attribution can go at the bottom of the poster in small text – as long as it’s legible with the naked eye. If there is more than one image used then the attribution may need to be closer to the image to indicate which image is being attributed.

There’s a fantastic new Creative Commons information pack on the Smart Copying website that includes fact sheets showing you how to attribute CC images. Go to search for ‘New Creative Commons Information Pack’ (this link may lead you straight there: and then select the last pdf: ‘How to Attribute Creative Commons Licensed Material’.



Definition of "Copy" and "Communicate"

Copy includes photocopying, audiotaping, scanning, printing or saving to disc.                 

Communicate means making copyright material available online or electronically transmitting copyright material (emailing). 'Making available' can include putting material on the internet or intranet. 'Electronic transmission' includes emailing, streaming or electronic reticulation.