Student ownership of copyright

As a student of UNE you hold the copyright in material you produce in the course of your study (either coursework or research) – i.e. assignments, essays, exam answers, theses etc. unless you have entered into an agreement which changes this.

Note that if you collaborate and co-author material with another student or staff member the work produced is owned by both authors. Permission to use such material must be obtained from both authors, unless the authorship of the work was separated (i.e. you wrote one chapter and the other author wrote another).

If you receive funding from a grant, are working collaboratively, or under the terms of employment, you should take time early on to sort out who owns the rights in the work being created. Any agreement you sign may be legally binding and give rights to others, or take some rights away from you.

Using other’s copyright

Fair Dealing

For students and researchers, the Copyright Act allows a ‘reasonable portion’ of an item to be copied as a Fair Dealing for the purpose of research or study.  This may include uses such as copying a chapter from a Library book as part of researching a topic; or including an image, quote or audio-visual clip into an assignment.

Find out more about Fair Dealing provisions.

See Australian Copyright Council information sheets including:

Research and Study

Fair Dealing: What Can I use without permission?

Emerging practice

Rather than simply accepting the rights automatically granted to you under the Copyright Act, you may want to consider Creative Commons licencing, which allows you to state the conditions under which others may use your work without the need to seek your permission.

In turn you can use content that other creators have made available under a Creative Commons Licence.

Find out more at Smartcopying’s Creative Commons Information Pack.