One of the easiest ways to copyright works is when the copyright owner has made their works available for others to use by applying a licence.  There are different types of licences with differing terms and conditions including commercial and remunerated, and others which are free from cost.  A licence does not mean the work is 'copyright free', only that permission has been granted for specific uses under the terms of that licence.

Types of licences which may cover your use of copyright works at University include:

The Statutory licence is contained at Section 113P of the Copyright Act and allows educational institutions to make limited use of copyright material without having to obtain permission from the owner.

Also referred to as the 'Education' or s.113P licence, it covers the use of print and graphic material, and television and radio broadcasts. The universities together pay the collecting societies Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and Screenrights for the use of this licence. The collecting societies conduct regular surveys of copying and communication undertaken by educational institutions under this licence.

There are limits to the amount of content that can be made available to students, and also specific methods to make the material available to ensure the University can manage and report on usage.

For more information see Copyright for teaching guidelines.

Music is covered by copyright, and the right to copy, communicate, or publicly perform or play music requires consideration of licencing the University holds under the Tertiary Music Licence.

Staff and students can perform, copy or communicate a majority of copyright musical works and sound recordings for educational purposes and for university events*.

The Tertiary Music Licence is a commercial licence granted by APRA, AMCOS, PPCA, and ARIA^ to the Universities under University Australia auspices. It provides for the use of music across University spaces, events, and online. Rights in music can be complex; for advice contact Copyright Services.

For more information see the Tertiary Music Licence guide (pdf, 787kb) from Universities Australia.

Performance Rights

The University is permitted to Perform APRA Works and PPCA Sound Recordings (live and sound):

  • at University Events organised and authorised by the University, ticketed up to $40
  • at graduations (no ticket limit on cost)
  • for Educational Purposes (excludes Grand Rights)
  • to play music for the benefit of employees (in staff rooms, staff tea rooms and at staff-only events such as Christmas parties)
  • in University spaces and University-owned and run businesses (excluding FedSports, Childcare as they are open to the public).

Reproduction and Communication Rights

The University is permitted to Reproduce and Communicate Works:

  • Play AMCOS Works and ARIA Sound Recordings at University Events;
  • Play AMCOS Works and ARIA Sound Recordings for use in a course of instruction;
  • Play AMCOS Works and PPCA Sound Recordings as music on hold;
  • Make audio and audio-visual recordings of free University Events where music is performed or played;
  • Make those recordings available for sale in a physical format for University Purposes;
  • Make audio and audio-visual recordings of AMCOS Works and ARIA Sound Recordings for Educational Purposes;
  • Synchronise AMCOS Works and ARIA Sound Recordings with visual recordings made of University Events or in the course of instruction; and
  • Store licenced recordings on a password protected University Platform (such as a learning management system) or in a physical format and allow access for University Purposes.

The licence does not cover the copying of music videos.

Notice and labelling requirements

When copying sound recordings include labelling attached containing full details of the title, composer, lyricist, arranger, artist/group and record company.

Licence Survey

Sound recordings made available from a 'central unit' under the licence must be reported annually. A central unit is defined as an area of the university (such as a department) which provides a resource or facility for the electronic copying, storage or communication of a sound recording in reliance on the music licence for the University. To nominate an area as a central unit please contact the Copyright Office.


*Educational purposes - means "in connection with a particular course of instruction or course of study and/ or research" of the university. Commercial activities, including commercial research are not within the ambit of the licence.

*University event is "an event organised or authorised" by the university and held at the university (or another venue), which includes live musical performances by students or staff.  Events organised by a third party (eg a promoter) and occurring on University grounds are not covered by the Licence and require a separate licence from OneMusic.

^APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)

One Music (APRA AMCOS and PPCA )

ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association)

The Library subscribes to many information databases which are available to enrolled students and staff. They include journal articles and journals, image and text, eBooks, streaming video databases of film and TV, and other resources. The Library has the permission of copyright owners to use that material under the terms of the licence agreements.

Creative Commons (CC) Licences are standardised licences which creators apply to make their work available. There is no need to seek permission to use the content displaying a CC licence, though follow the terms of the licence and always attribute. There are six versions of the licences, all allow sharing and reuse of works, though only the least restrictive allows commercial use and modification.

Quick guide to Creative Commons

The material below has been made available by the National Copyright Unit, Education Council. They had based some of the content on material created by others, which was available under creative commons, and added their own text.  They have released this content under a Creative Commons Licence, therefore we are able to reproduce legally here with appropriate attribution (scroll to the end).
This Quick Guide to Creative Commons was created by National Copyright Unit, Education Council and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

Creative Commons licences work as “Some rights reserved” rule instead of “All rights reserved” rule. CC offers a diverse set of licence conditions – the freedoms and limitations. This allows the author to define rules on which he or she would like to share his or her creations with others. At the same time users gain more rights to the use of his or her works.

Attribution (BY) 4.0

Attribution 4.0 – This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution - ShareAlike (BY, SA)  4.0

Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 – This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to 'copyright' free and open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the licence used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution - Non-Commercial (BY, NC) 4.0

Attribution–NonCommercial 4.0 – This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution NoDerivatives  (BY, ND) 4.0

Attribution–NoDerivs 4.0 – This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution  NonCommercial  - ShareAlike (BY, NC, SA) 4.0

Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 4.0 – This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 – This licence is the most restrictive of our six main licences, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

This is an adaptation of the poster Open poster about CC licences by Creative Commons Poland, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland licence.

This Quick Guide to Creative Commons was created by National Copyright Unit, Education Council and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.


The Copyright Council Creative Commons Licences infosheet

Ask permission for use of material. The publisher may provide you with a licence which sets out the terms of your use.