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Copyright: Teaching

Guides teaching staff on many areas of copyright including limits to what can be provided to students, using images, screening video content in class, eReserve and the addition of material to the service.

How much can be legally copied from someone else's work?

A reasonable portion is defined as:

  • 10% or one chapter of a book or ebook,
  • or one article from an issue of a journal
    • unless on the same subject matter in which case more than one article can be copied.

For other types of material, please view the Types of Work table to find out how to (re)use material legally for educational purposes 

Section 200AB: the “special case” or “flexible dealing” exception

Section 200AB allows an educational institution to use copyright material for educational instruction in certain cases, where the use is not covered by other specific exceptions in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). For example, it does not apply to a use that would be covered by Section 113P (recording and communicating TV and radio programs, or the copying and communicating of text and images).


Section 200AB only applies if:

  • the circumstances of the use amount to a special case;
  • the use does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the material;
  • the use does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the owner of the copyright;
  • the copying is not made for commercial advantage or profit.

Section 200AB is more complex than other exceptions in the Copyright Act, and you will usually need advice about whether or not it applies in a particular situation. In some cases, section 200AB can allow the conversion or “format-shifting” of videos to DVDs.