Copyright Matters - teaching support


Websites and online content: text, images, and av

Under Australian legislation, even if the content of a website appears to be 'freely available' it is still protected by copyright in the same way as a printed book or journal, and you usually need permission from the copyright owner to make a copy of any of their documents or to upload that copy to My Unit Readings; this permission is sometimes given in the website's terms of use or copyright statement, or they may attach a Creative Commons licence to their content.

How to use a 'freely available' online document as a reading for your students
Images: diagrams, maps, photographs, and other visual works
Audio-Visual Content on freely accessible websites


How to use a 'freely available' online document as a reading for your students

  • look for a link to the website's 'terms of use' or 'copyright statement' - this is often in the footer
  • see if there is anything saying that the content can be freely used for 'educational purposes', 'within your organisation', 'for non-commercial purposes', etc., or that the content is licensed with Creative Commons or an equivalent licence

If there is a such a statement

  • you can ask the Library's reserve staff to upload a copy of the document to My Unit Readings, or
  • you can create a link from your unit's LMS website to the document

If the terms of use state that e.g. 'user may make a single copy for their personal, non-commercial use', then we must seek permission to use the document in My Unit Readings, however...

  • you may usually make a link from your LMS site to the document so that students can download their own copy

NB: some websites do not permit 'deep-linking' directly to specific documents - this information should be in the 'terms of use' - we may still be able to get permission to upload the document to My Unit Readings.


Images: diagrams, maps, photographs, and other visual works

Under the CAL licence, uni staff can copy/download any online image and reuse it in, for instance, a series of lecture slides:

  • the terms of the licence mean that the slides must be delivered to students via My Unit Readings, not uploaded to LMS or any other website
  • each image must be referenced, including the url of the site it came from

Creative Commons licensed materials

Creative Commons licensed images are much easier to use than ones licensed by CAL.  CC works are a specific type of 'Open Access' material that can be used in many of the ways that would otherwise require the copyright owner's permission.

All CC licensed images can be uploaded to LMS, as well as to openly accessible non-commercial websites, blogs, wikis, etc. 

see: Creative Commons and other OA materials


Audio-Visual Content on freely accessible websites

Many, especially educational, websites offer AV teaching materials; often a website's terms of use will say that you can embed a link to these from your LMS site, and play them during lectures. However, you should check the terms of use again before allowing the work to be recorded in LCS as many do not permit copying (or downloading); if this is the case you can pause the lecture recording while the video material is playing.

If a website's terms of use do allow downloads and/or copying you can request AVS to upload these materials to LCS. 

YouTube: you can link to Youtube during a lecture, but their terms of use do not allow copying, so you must pause the recording whilst the material is playing; where Youtube offers an embed code you can use it to make a link from LMS to that particular recording.