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Copyright: Copyright basics

About this guide

This guide will help to locate resources about copyright. The guide will give you an overview, but you will need to make use of the links to get the fine detail.

Use the page tabs above to find relevant online and library resources.

  • Copyright basics - What is copyright and what does it protect?
  • For students - What can I copy for my assignments?
  • For teachers - What can I copy for teaching purposes?
  • Free resources - a collection of relevant websites and resources
  • Content developers - a password protected collection of how tos

Need more help? Contact your local library - we are happy to assist.

Guide editors Susan Mansley and Beatriz Aroche

What is Copyright?

Copyright gives authors and creators legal protection over their works including the right to grant or deny permission to others to reproduce it. An idea cannot be copyright, only the way that idea is expressed in a work.

 How much can I copy?

 For research or study, you can copy a reasonable portion, which is defined as:

  • one chapter or 10% of the pages from a book
  • a single article from a periodical issue; more if needed for the same research or course.

You can copy more if the material is out of copyright or you have permission from the copyright owner.

A 'work' can range from a novel to a painting, a photograph, a webpage, computer software and much more.

Please refer to the Use of TAFE NSW Internet and Intranet Services Policy

Smartcopying is the official guide to copyright issues for Australian schools and TAFE.

eBooks on copyright basics

What does copyright protect?

   Literary works (books, articles)

   Computer programs

   Compilations (includes electronic databases)

   Artistic work (paintings, cartoons, drawings)

   Dramatic works (plays, performance, dance)

   Musical works (melodies, song music, lyrics, advertising jingles, film scores)

   Cinematograph films (TV programs, films, videos)

   Broadcasts (Television programs, radio broadcasts)

   Sound recordings (CDS, records, tapes, MP3s)

Images sourced from:
Microsoft Office ClipArt

Copyright Websites

More Information?

      Where can I find more information?

  • Contact your campus Library for copyright advice
  • Refer to The SmartCopying website
  • Staff can also book Copyright or Referencing & Plagiarism skills sessions for staff or classes of students - contact your library.
  • Guide editors Susan Mansley and Beatriz Aroche