Copyright Act 1968


The fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act allow you to copy material for your own research or study.

Fair dealing involves an individual making a single copy for:

  • their own research or study (S40)
  • the purpose of criticism or review, provided sufficient acknowledgment is made of the work (S41)
  • the purpose of reporting news (S42)
  • the purpose of judicial proceedings or professional advice by a legal practitioner or patent attorney (S43)

Note. If you wish to make multiple copies of copyright material for teaching purposes or if you wish to make course readings available online please contact the Library.


There are different rules for different formats of material.

You can copy a reasonable portion which is defined as:

Hard copy or print materials
Separately published literary, dramatic, or musical work (other than a computer program) of more than 10 pages 10% of the total number of pages in the edition
if the work is divided into chapters a single chapter even though this may exceed 10% of the number of pages.
Articles in periodicals One article from an issue – more if they are on the same topic. Interpret the ‘same topic’ in the narrowest sense
Illustrations accompanying text Illustrations accompanying text can be copied along with the text they illustrate provided the total amount copied is within the reasonable portions guidelines
Audio-visual items including films, sound recordings, sound broadcasts and television broadcasts Sections 103A and 103C of the Copyright Act permits the copying of a reasonable portion of an AV item for research or study or for criticism or review.A reasonable portion is not defined and you must consider a number of factors before deciding if the amount you wish to copy is fair dealing.
For electronic works
Separately published literary or dramatic work (other than a computer program or electronic compilations such as a database) 10% of the number of words in the work
if the work is divided into chapters a single chapter
Articles in electronic journals One article from an issue – more if they are on the same topic. Interpret the ‘same topic’ in the narrowest sense
Websites 10% of the number of words in the electronic document.


Yes, you can but remember that material on the Internet is protected by copyright.

Under the fair dealing principles you can copy up to 10% of the words in an electronic document for your own research or study. In some cases it will not be easy to determine the number of words in an electronic document, for example, is it 10% of one web page or 10% of the entire web site?

However, it is possible that the author may have included a statement authorizing the user to copy more than 10% of the document. So, before you copy material from the Internet, either by downloading or printing, always check to see if there is a statement relating to copyright and reproduction of material. When in doubt obtain the copyright owner’s permission.

In many cases material accessible from the Library’s web site such as databases and full text journals, will be covered by license arrangements with the vendor or producer of the database. The individual licenses determine the conditions and limits for printing and downloading.


Parts VA and VB of the Copyright Act allows the Institute to make third party copyright material available for educational purposes in return for royalty payments to the copyright owners provided the stated limits on reproduction and communication are observed.

Part VA of the Copyright Act allows the Institute to copy radio and television broadcasts received in Australia and make these available with Screen Rights as the declared collecting society.

Part VB covers text and image copying and communication with the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) as the collecting society.

The Course Online Readings Service (CORS), operated by the Library, is the Institute’s official repository for all digitized text-based copyright materials required for student course work. The Institute adopted this centralized policy to ensure compliance with the limits on communication set down in the Copyright Act. Third party, text-based copyright materials used in student course work must not be held on faculty servers but must be located on the Library’s CORS server

The full up-to-date Copyright Act 1968 is available from


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