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What are my responsibilities when using copyright material that is not mine?

Clocktower.

Using others' material

  • You can use anything for which you do not hold the copyright if you have permission from the rights holder or if such use can be considered fair dealing. Check the fair dealing page for more on that. If you got permission make sure the rights holder understood exactly what you planned to do with it. For example, if you are giving a public lecture, that's one thing, but if it's being recorded and put on our website, that's quite different; or, if you received permission to include something in a thesis, this permission wouldn't apply to a subsequent journal publication. If your plans change then you need to get permission again.
  • Acknowledge your sources for anything you did not create. You would do this when quoting from a text or article; the same applies to images, blogs, a slide etc. Staff should demonstrate good practice for our students, but this is less practised when the source is not 'academic'. You would also expect the same of anyone else using material you had created. 
  • When taking material from the web check the 'Terms of Use' (or similar) on the page. This will outline permissions and restrictions. Just because something is on the web does not mean it is free to use. Your use needs to be fair dealing or covered by a licence.
  • If you want to use something that you did not create in a teaching resource (coursepack, slides etc.), check the details provided under Coursepacks - in hard copy and on Blackboard.
  • Include a copyright warning on any material distributed under licence to students (see the information about warning notices on the Licences page.)
  • Use material from the growing body of resources available on the internet that offer an alternative to ‘all rights reserved' copyright. These alternatives often allow use of material that is not ‘all rights reserved' but rather ‘some rights reserved' (for example, often simply acknowledging the source is sufficient). The Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ site has a useful guide to finding open resources.
  • Be careful when using material you have found on the internet. There are many sites that claim to own material - or make no attribution of the source from which material may have been taken, which amounts to the same thing.  Re-using something that has been used without permission to do so is still potentially open to legal challenge, even if you were ignorant of this.
  • Ask for permission. Even in cases where the terms of a published edition or website prohibit copying, some rights holders are more than willing to allow use in an educational context with proper acknowledgement. Always keep written records of permissions granted.
  • Avoid copying material altogether, if possible. For example, provide students with a link to the Library's database so that student's access it directly from there; or, in a lecture, link to the video you want to show.  In both cases you are not making a copy at all but viewing the original, meaning copyright doesn't come into it.

Web publishing - blogs, wikis, etc.

See the dedicated page on this subject.