Skip to Main Content
Notre Dame 5 Star University
University Library




Copyright: An overview

Provides an overview on how Copyright applies in higher education, including Creative Commons and Open Access.


An infringement of copyright occurs where an act comprised in the copyright is done in relation to a "substantial part" or "reasonable portion" of a work or other subject matter. These limits are not defined in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), but in deciding whether or not an act amounts to an infringement, courts have placed a greater emphasis on the quality of what is used than the quantity.

The Copyright Act permits the University to reproduce (copy) and communicate a reasonable portion of a copyright work, including making that reasonable portion available online.

There is no copyright infringement if:

  • the copyright is owned by the University;
  • the material has been supplied to the University with an express licence to copy and/or communicate it;
  • you obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner;
  • the proposed copying and/or communication falls within any of several exceptions in the Copyright Act that allow limited amounts of copying and communication without payment; or
  • the copying and/or communication is covered by "statutory licence".

For more information please see the following AskUs FAQ, and Australian Copyright Council Information sheets: