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Students and Copyright

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Obtaining permission

You will need to seek permission from the copyright owner if you wish to use the work in a way which is not permitted by fair dealing.

Only a copyright owner can give permission, known as a licence, for others to copy, communicate and/or perform their work.

Sometimes the copyright owner will ask for payment in exchange for giving permission. Other times, the copyright owner will give permission to use their work for free subject to certain conditions, such as with Creative Commons licences.

Attributing Material

All material copied and/or communicated in your work should be labelled with the details of the copyright owner and author (if different to the copyright owner), the name of the work, where the material was copied from and when it was copied.

Creative Commons Material

When attributing Creative Commons material, you should:

  • Credit the creator;
  • Provide the title of the work;
  • Provide the URL where the work is hosted;
  • Indicate the type of licence it is available under and provide a link to the licence (so others can find out the licence terms); and
  • Keep intact any copyright notice associated with the work.

eg.  Peter Alexander, ‘Sounion Temple’, http://www.flickr.com/photos/40681760@N07/3961143351/, 5 August 2009 Available under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

For further information on attributing Creative Commons material, see information sheet, 'How to Attribute Creative Commons Material'.


Smartcopying Tips 

1. Link to material

Linking is not a copyright activity. This is because you are not actually ‘copying’ or ‘communicating’ any material, you are just providing a path to its location on another website. Providing links to material on external websites will not infringe copyright and you do not need to seek permission from the website owner to include a link to their website.

2. Use embedded links

Embedding is another type of linking, except you don’t have to leave your website (e.g. blog or wiki) or intranet to access the content. It is commonly used for displaying online films, e.g. YouTube films, on websites.

Embedding involves copying the HTML code of the film, which is often displayed in a box near the film, and pasting it onto your website. The result of this is, rather than displaying the link, a small screen of the film will be shown on your website.

The primary advantage to embedding material is that you do not need to copy the material in order to make it available on your website.  Some websites, such as YouTube, provide the link for embedding films.  This makes embedding an easy and practical alternative to copying.

3. Create your own material

If you are using material that is your own original work and does not contain any material created by another person, you do not need to rely on the fair dealing exceptions as you are the copyright owner.

It is important that you label your original work with your name and the year it was created. This is so others know that the work is your original work and that you own copyright in that work.

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