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Transnational Education (TNE): Copyright

An introduction to providing transnational education at Murdoch

Copyright Basics

What is copyright? 

Copyright is the legal system intended to balance the requirements of both creators and users of ‘works’ that express facts, ideas, concepts, and so on.  It protects the rights of a work’s copyright owner, and also provides a number of exceptions so that the rest of us can make some use of that work in certain circumstances.

The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) gives authors and other copyright owners of original 'works' the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, communicate, and adapt their material; and to license, transfer, or sell it to other people.

Almost all written material, images, as well as music and other sound recordings, films and other visual media, are considered as 'works' protected by copyright, whether they are in print format or digital, in a book, a magazine, a DVD, or on a website.

Murdoch University's staff and students are expected to comply with the Copyright Act and with the University Copyright Policy and it's Intellectual Property Regulations.



 Copyright Matters

Statutory and Other Licences

Copyright is supposed to address the needs of consumers as well as creators; so the Act also allows some uses of works without the owner’s specific permission.

Statutory Licence and Screenrights Recordings

The Statutory Licence permits the University to provide students with print and electronic copies of journal articles, book chapters, images, internet content, etc. and of copies of off-air radio and TV broadcasts and podcasts, etc. (Screenrights Recordings).

The requirements of the licence are stringent: that’s why University policy is that My Unit Readings (MUR) is the only place we can upload teaching content used under the Statutory Licence, with the Lecture Capture Service (LCS) delivering copies of broadcasts. 

The Tertiary Music Licence (TML)

This licence covers the use for educational purposes of a wide range of music and sound recordings.

Under the TML, Murdoch makes an annual royalty payment in order to reproduce, communicate and perform material from an extensive repertoire in which copyright belongs to members of these societies:

  • Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)
  • Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA)
  • Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA)
  • Australasian Record Industry Association (ARIA)


Commercial Licences

When copyright is owned by publishers, such as the works that are provided electronically from the Library’s catalogue – including eBooks, online journals, and some streaming videos - our uses are communicated and controlled by commercial licences between the publisher or vendor and the University.

These licenses will cover material in particular databases or from particular publishers. Conditions will vary from database to database and from publisher to publisher and you should check the conditions of use included in the catalogue entry for that resource. 



The information and advice given in these pages is for general use: it is not legal opinion.

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