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Transnational Education (TNE): Copyright

An introduction to providing transnational education at Murdoch

Copyright Basics

What is copyright? 

The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) provides the legislative framework for the creation, copying, and communication of electronic, print, graphic, and audio-visual works at Murdoch University. Staff and students are expected to comply with the Act and with the University's Copyright Policy and Intellectual Property Regulations.

The Copyright Act 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.

Using copyright protected works without permission from the copyright owner, or according to the provisions of the Copyright Act, or our various licences, could lead to infringement of the Act, with possible repercussions for both the individual and the University.


For further information, please refer to the Copyright Matters website.

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: the most important for learning and teaching are the Part VA and Part VB licences. 

Part VA and Part VB Licences

These two licences permit the University to provide students with copies of radio and TV broadcasts under Part VA (aka the Screenrights licence), and with print and electronic copies of journal articles, book chapters, images, internet content, etc. under Part VB (sometimes referred to as CAL).

The requirements of the licences 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 Part VB licence, with the Lecture Capture Service (LCS) delivering copies of broadcasts etc under the Part VA licence – you may not upload Part VB/VA works to your unit's LMS site.

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)

Further information on this licence is available on the Copyright Matters website.

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. 

If you require assistance with checking the 'conditions of use', please contact your Subject Librarian.


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

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