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UPDATED COVID-19 COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS 1 JUNE 2020

Remote & Online Learning During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Please note the advice in this information sheet is in response to the COVID-19 crisis only. Once normal teaching has resumed at the end of the COVID-19 crisis, schools should disable access materials made available to students and delete copies made to support student learning during COVID from digital teaching environments and other online platforms.  Further advice will be provided about this at that time.

Introduction

Unfortunately, we all find ourselves in extraordinary times with the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia.  This has meant that all schools in Australia are needing to provide remote learning opportunities for their students during the COVID-19 crisis. This information sheet provides copyright guidelines for schools to enable teachers to continue to teach their students remotely. 

This information sheet is confined to distance education for the purposes of school closures and student self-isolation due to COVID-19. It covers the situation where materials that were going to be used in class now need to be made available by teachers through distance learning (online). This information sheet does not cover other new non-educational uses of material. In those situations, our existing information sheets apply and you can contact the NCU for separate advice.

The most important point for teachers to understand is this: in the vast majority of cases, schools can use digital technologies to provide remote teaching and learning support to Australian students if you follow the rules set out in this information sheet

However, care will need to be taken in the way content is provided to students remotely to ensure that these unprecedented circumstances do not lead to uses of content by students that may cause harm to copyright owners. We encourage schools to take a common sense approach - we need to allow schools to continue to educate students without unreasonably prejudicing the legitimate interests of copyright owners during this time.

Some of the copyright issues set out in this information sheet are complex, and for some questions we are receiving from teachers there are no ‘black and white’ answers.  We are hopeful that copyright owners and licensing organisations will likewise take a pragmatic and common sense approach to these issues.

If you are unsure about how you can use copyright materials to support your students’ learning during COVID-19, please contact the National Copyright Unit. You do not need to contact publishers individually to seek permission for educational uses if you are following these guidelines.

Please note. NCU is working hard to continue to provide schools with the best possible information.  Please check COVID-19 Copyright Issues for regular updates (including any updated versions of this information sheet) and resources that will help you during this time.

 Part 1 - Some general principles to guide all remote teaching during a school closure

Here are some questions and general principles to assist you in preparing remote lessons for students.  More information is provided on each of these below:

1. There are many free legal sources of content for students to access without teachers needing to make copies for students and these free resources should be considered.  For example, if a music teacher needs students to listen to a particular song, is it available for students to access legally via services such as Spotify or YouTube?  Is a news item you need students to view available on a catch up TV service such as ABC iView?  If so, those freely available sources should be used.

2. If students need to read or view content that is available on the internet, can you send students an email or document with links to those resources rather than making copies of them for students?  E.g. can students use their home internet connection to access research reports, newspaper articles or instructional videos rather than a teacher making a copy of these resources and sending them to students?  If so, this should be done.

3. Students can also access many subscription services from home.  For example, if the school has a subscription to services such as Hot Maths or Reading Eggs, students should be able to access those resources by logging in from home rather than teachers needing to copy content for the student.

4. Existing educational licences and exceptions under the Copyright Act will apply even though teaching will now take place remotely.  (For more information on the existing licences and exceptions in the digital teaching environment see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/copyright-in-the-digital-teaching-environment-a-manual-for-schools.) 

5. Generally, where a school/teacher has a right to use material in the physical classroom, the existing licences and exceptions should allow you engage in similar ways in a digital environment provided you comply with the common sense steps set out below:
●Only make the works available for those students that need to access them e.g. the relevant classes rather than all students enrolled at the school;
●Make the works available to view via password protected access only;
●Ensure that no further copies/downloads can be made;
●Only make the works available for the period of time for which they are needed;
●Archive or disable access by students to the works once they are no longer needed by the students (e.g. when normal teaching resumes); and
●When making any copies available, ensure there is a clear instructional purpose for doing so e.g. it is not just being made available in case it is needed.

6. If you are teaching remotely and need to use copyright content in your lessons (e.g. reading a storybook to children or playing a song), where possible you should live stream the lesson to students.  If this is not possible and you need to record the lesson to upload for students to access on demand, you should ensure this is on a password protected digital teaching environment (DTE) or other closed environment (eg private YouTube channel or private Facebook group), rather than on the open internet (e.g. on a website or public Facebook page).

 Part 2 - Some answers to common teacher questions during COVID-19

1. Can I hold a virtual class/lesson for students to watch in real-time (i.e. live rather than pre-recorded)

Yes.  This is our recommended approach wherever possible to do so. 

For example, a student can ‘dial in’ to a lesson using technologies such as Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom or similar. A teacher can live stream lessons to students at scheduled times. These options should be used where possible, rather than recording classes/lessons for students to access on-demand.

Note, the virtual class/lesson should only be available to those students who need it as part of their studies, for example only accessible via a username and password.  For more information see: https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/performance-and-communication-of-works-and-audio-visual-material-in-class---what-am-i-allowed-to-do-

2. Can I record classes/lessons for students to access on-demand?

Yes.  You can use copyright materials in your recorded lesson (eg show an artwork to students or play a short film) if you make sure that:

  1. only students and parents/carers can view the lesson (eg upload to a password protected DTE or other closed class online learning space such as a closed Facebook group); 
  2. no further copies/downloads can be made;
  3. if you can, have limited access to the recording to those students that need to view it (e.g. the relevant class/es rather than all students enrolled at the school);
  4. you only make the recording available for the time needed for the course of study; and
  5. you archive or disable access by students to the recording once it is no longer needed by the students.
We also recommend that you add the following notice at the beginning of the video:

 This video recording/recording has been made available to you in accordance with the educational use provisions in the Copyright Act for you to view only.  No further copies or sharing of the video recording/recording should be made outside the class as the material in the recording may be the subject of copyright protection. Do not remove this notice [insert date recording was made available to students to access].

If this is not practical, it would be a good idea to email students (or put a notice in school blogs or other communication platforms) reminding students that remote lessons are being provided to them as part of their school’s response to COVID-19, and that they must not make any further copies of any of the content provided to them, including sharing with friends, via social media, or uploading to the internet.

Please note, there is a special arrangement for School Storytimes for Australian children’s books. Please see below, 4. Can I read stories to my students?

For all other books, teachers or teacher librarians may make an audio or video recording of themselves reading a story book as long as they can’t purchase a recording in the format they need of someone reading the book within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price and they follow the above conditions. 

3. What can I upload to my school’s DTE for students to access?

Please note that there are different rules depending on the type of material you’re using as part of your teaching.

Materials from digital textbooks and resources

Where the school or parents on behalf of their students have purchased a digital textbook or paid subscription to educational materials for each student in the class, it should be ok for the teacher to upload short extracts and or chapters of the material onto a DTE as needed for the purposes of teaching the class.  Teachers should follow the following steps to protect the copyright in those resources:

  1. only students and parents/carers can view the lesson (eg upload to a password protected DTE or other closed class online learning space such as a closed Facebook group); 
  2. no further copies/downloads can be made;
  3. if you can, have limited access to the materials to those students that need to view it (e.g. the relevant class/es rather than all students enrolled at the school);
  4. you only make the materials available for the time needed for the course of study; and
  5. you archive or disable access by students to the materials once it is no longer needed by the students;

We also recommend that you include this notice where practical:

This material has been made available to you in accordance with the educational use provisions in the Copyright Act for you to view only.  No further copies or sharing of the material should be made outside the class as the material in the recording may be the subject of copyright protection. Do not remove this notice [insert date recording was made available to students to access].

Print sheet music

AMCOS (which represents copyright owners of print music) has given schools a licence to make and share digital copies of sheet music until 31 December 2020 (with an extension available if COVID-19 restrictions remain in place after that date) subject to the following conditions:

●only students and parents/carers can view the digital copy via a password protected DTE ;
●No further copies/downloads can be made;
●limit access to the digital copy to those students that need to view it for their educational purpose;
●Only music that is permitted to be photocopied under the AMCOS Print Music Licence may be reproduced/shared (ie. no music for the purposes of private tuition and no tutor books);
●Make sure you comply with the copying limits under the Licence regardless of whether hard copies or digital copies have been made.You need to count both the number of hard copies and number of students given digital access. (e.g. making 3 hard copies for 3 students and giving 12 students access to a digital copies which is a total of 15);
●Mark the original and digital copies as required under the Licence ;and
●Digital copies are to be destroyed/deleted immediately after the quarantine period.

 For more information see:

https://smartcopying.edu.au/educational-resources/covid-19-copyright-issues/increased-digital-rights-in-print-music-for-schools-due-to-covid-19-crisis

Sound Recordings

If your students need to listen to music, we encourage you to point them to streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, Mixcloud.  These services are free but also there are paid premium services available.

Students can also use their own personal music accounts such as Apple Music or Google Play.

With regard to audiobooks, you can stream these to your virtual class or refer students to lending or subscription sites that offer audiobooks such as Audible, BorrowBox, CloudLibrary, RBdigital or Overdrive.

Uploading extracts of commercially available audiobooks to a DTE for remote access outside of class may possibly be permitted in very limited circumstances. Please contact the NCU for further advice.  For free audiobooks to stream or download, see the below section on ‘Part 4: Free resources and subscriptions’.

With regard to podcasts, we recommend you provide links to podcasts for students to access remotely. Some free education podcast examples are:

●ABC Podcasts: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/podcasts/
●Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/
●Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/genre/podcasts/id26
●Kinderling (primary school): https://www.kinderling.com.au/

For more information on how you can currently use music, sound recordings and podcasts see:

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/copyright-in-the-digital-teaching-environment-a-manual-for-schools/music-and-sound-recordings

 https://smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/podcasts---using

Broadcast Radio and Television

Teachers and schools are encouraged to direct students and parents to ABC iView, SBS on demand and other free Australian catch up television services.

If your school is subscribed to one of Screenrights' Resource Centres such as Clickview, TV4Education or Enhance TV, copying and/or communicating copy programs to your students is allowed under the Screenrights licence. Where possible, we advise directing the students to the copied program to view only, rather than provide students with copy programs to download and save.

If you are in a remote community or have poor network/bandwidth, you may wish to provide students with copy programs broadcast on Australian television on USB and/or DVD.

For more of what you can do with copy television and radio programs broadcast by Australian Broadcasters, see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/copyright-in-the-digital-teaching-environment-a-manual-for-schools/broadcast-radio-and-television

Films and Videos

There are a number of educational resources available on free video sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.  Students can be provided with links to view the appropriate educational resource on these platforms from home.  Please note that for many services, such as YouTube, the terms of use state that children must be 13 years or over, so parent or guardian supervision may be required.

Teachers and schools are encouraged to provide links to students and parents or embed videos in their DTEs.

Parents and students can also access subscription streaming services at home such as Netflix, Stan and Prime Video.  Please note many of these services offer one month free trials. If a teacher needs to include film or video content in a lesson, we encourage this to be done via live stream in a lesson context wherever possible (see above).  If this is not possible, a teacher may be able to include a short extract of film or video content in a lesson resource (such as including a short clip in a lesson slide presentation).

As a last resort, if a student is required to watch e.g. a documentary as part of their coursework, and there is now no other way of facilitating this, a school may be able to make a copy for the student (e.g. on a DVD or USB), which should be password and copy protected, and should be returned to the school at the end of the time it is needed for the study unit. Although the copy should be copy protected, it is also important to advise students that no further copying or distribution is allowed.

We also recommend that you include this notice with any copy provided to a student:

This material has been made available to you in accordance with the educational use provisions in the Copyright Act for you to view only.  No further copies or sharing of the material should be made outside the class as the material in the recording may be the subject of copyright protection. Do not remove this notice [insert date recording was made available to students to access].

For more information see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/copyright-in-the-digital-teaching-environment-a-manual-for-schools/films-and-videos

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/performance-and-communication-of-works-and-audio-visual-material-in-class---what-am-i-allowed-to-do

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/using-youtube

 
4. Can I read stories to my students?

Yes.

We are pleased to announce that the Australian Publishers Association and Australian Society of Authors have adopted a policy to support schools to allow teachers and teacher librarians to read Australian children’s books online to students and families without any need for specific permission or payment, as follows:

  1. Teachers are encouraged to live stream Storytime wherever possible (such as via Google Classroom, a Zoom call or Facebook live streaming). If a school has the technical capacity to do so, teachers are encouraged to limit access to the live stream to students of the school and their families.
  2. If live streaming is not practical, a teacher may make available a recording of Storytime online, provided that:
    1. the recording is “view only”, so that no further copies can be made or downloaded. For example, you could film yourself reading a story to children in your class and upload it to your school’s digital learning environment for students to access at home; and
    2. wherever possible that recording should be made available using password protected access in a digital teaching environment, rather than made available generally on the internet. For example, if you can give students access to the recording via a platform such as Google Classroom instead of Facebook, you should do so.
  3. Teachers must provide bibliographic details of the featured book at the beginning of any published recording of Storytime, including the title, author, illustrator and publisher.
  4. This policy is temporary and will remain in force whilst schools are required to provide remote learning for students due to the COVID-19 emergency. Recordings can only be used during the period of the outbreak and must be taken down and deleted when schools resume normal teaching practices, or the conclusion of term 2 for each school who has taken part in this Storytime arrangement, whichever is earlier.

For international books, please follow the process set out above in Part 2, No 2. Can I record classes/lessons for students to access on demand?

5. Can I mail print resources to students?
 

It is not always possible for students to access online content from home, whether this is due to bandwidth or not having access to the internet or a home device. In these circumstances, teachers and schools may need to provide students with photocopies of print resources or a USB or DVD of print resources.

Yes you can do this, subject to the same restrictions as set out above as well as the following requirements: 

  1. You should send a cover letter with the resources that states the materials have been provided for the student’s educational use during the COVID-19 outbreak and no further copies should be made;
  2. If the student doesn’t need to print or edit the resources on the USB or DVD, lock the USB or DVD so that resources can only be viewed and no further copies or downloads can be made.

For more information see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/education-licences-(statutory-and-voluntary-licences)/education-licence-b-statutory-text-and-artistic-licence

 Part 3 - Smartcopying tips for teachers and schools

 Link or Embed

Linking and embedding content are not copyright activities.  This is because teachers are not actually ‘copying’ any material. Rather, teachers are providing students with a path to its location.  Providing links and embedding material is a great way for teachers to manage copyright.

Limit

Ensure access to material is limited to the relevant students only.  Limiting access is important for cost and risk management.  For example, if only a specific class needs access to material, limit access to those students rather than allowing the entire school to access.

Label

All material created and used for educational purposes should be properly attributed.  Attributing is important to ensure we don't pay licence fees for material we already own or are allowed to use – e.g. school created content.  For more information see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/labelling-school-material

Use Creative Commons (CC) Licensed Material and Open Education Resources (OER)

Teachers and schools are encouraged to use Creative Commons (CC) licensed material and Open Education Resources (OER). CC licensed material and OER are free to access, modify and share.  For information on where to find CC and OER materials, see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/open-education/open-education-resources/where-to-find-cc-licensed-material

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/open-education/open-education-resources/where-to-find-oer-materials

For more information on Smartcopying see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/copyright-in-the-digital-teaching-environment-a-manual-for-schools/smartcopying

Archive material when it is no longer needed

Archive material as soon as possible when it is no longer required to help manage copyright risk and costs.

Archiving involves moving the material into a closed area online where it can only be accessed by one person, such as the school librarian, ICT Manager or teacher who uploaded the material.

Part 4 - Free resources and subscriptions

Schools, parents/carers and students are encouraged to take up the free resources and subscriptions on offer to students at this time.

See links below:

Free education resources for parents supporting students

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/useful-creative-commons-and-other-free-educational-resources-for-parents-supporting-students

Free Audiobooks

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/educational-resources/covid-19-copyright-issues/audiobooks-available-to-stream-for-free-during-coronavirus-pandemic

Free Author and Illustrator resources

https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/educational-resources/covid-19-copyright-issues/free-author-and-illustrator-resources-and-virtual-story-times-available-online

 Australian Broadcasting Corporation Educational resources during Covid 19

https://about.abc.net.au/press-releases/abc-expands-education-schedule-to-support-students-at-home-during-covid-19-crisis/

Contact the NCU

Please check COVID-19 Copyright Issues for regular updates (including any updated versions of this information sheet) and resources that will help you during this time.

If you have any other questions or need additional guidance, please contact the NCU:

●Tel: 02 7814 3855
Email: smartcopying@det.nsw.edu.au