On the 8th Day of Copyright Christmas

On the eighth day of Copyright Christmas, my true love gave to me: eight times you don’t need to ask permission to use copyright material, seven steps to protect work that I have createdsix submissions to the Productivity Commission Review of Intellectual Property five new information sheets from the Australian Copyright Council (ACC), four steps for using Readings Online self servicethree copyright news articles,  two quick and easy ways to get my subject readings ready for 2017 and 1 copyright compliant video on Youtube.

Traditionally, the Copyright Office has been staffed by cat lovers which is why we often feature cat photos and videos in our blog posts when we want to show you how to be copyright compliant. Bobby on Christmas morningThis Christmas, we have embraced diversity and we are now split evenly between cat and dog lovers.  Coincidentally both Peter and I have greyhounds which we adopted from the Greyhound Adoption Program.  GAP finds homes for greyhound that are no longer suitable for greyhound racing.  So to even things up between the cats and the dogs, this blog will use greyhounds to demonstrate when you need to get permission and what you should do when you ask for permission.

We often talk about how you need to get permission from the copyright owner to use their work, however there are situations where it is not necessary under copyright to seek permission. Here are 8 of the most common situations that you are likely to come across when doing teaching, research or other University purposes where it is not necessary to seek permission:

  1. You created the material yourself and therefore own the copyright in it (I own the copyright in this photograph of our beautiful Greyhound ‘Bobby’, so I don’t need to ask anyone for permission to use it).
  2. Your use is for teaching at the University and is covered by the provisions for education 
  3. You are copying or performing music for educational or University purposes as covered by the Music Licence
  4. You are using material for research or study or criticism or review and it is covered under fair dealing
  5. Copyright in the work has expired
  6. The University of Melbourne owns copyright.
  7. You are copying or communicating an insubstantial portion
  8. The copyright owner has already given their permission for their work to be used, e.g. Creative Commons Licence, terms of use on a website

So what do you need to consider if your situation is not one of the above and you do have to get permission?  Well first of all you need to identify and contact the copyright owner.  I was inspired to write this blog because I wanted to use the lovely greyhound photos shown below.  All of the photos were published in the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) Christmas Newsletter and in order to feature them in our blog, we needed to get permission.

The second step in seeking permission is to contact the copyright owner. We recommend that you do this in writing so there is a record of exactly what you asked permission for and what permission has been granted.  Information on what you should include in your permission letter (or email) and a sample letter is available on our website.  In a bid to ‘lead by example’ we approached GAP, explained why we wanted to make copies of their photos, and asked their permission to do so. They very kindly allowed us to share these 8 beautiful pictures with you.

So please enjoy these lovely dogs (if you’re a dog lover) while you ponder the importance of copyright compliance.  Cat lovers, don’t despair, the cute kitties will be back in 2017.

If you are using material for University purposes and need to seek permission, the Copyright Office Permissions Service can organise permission on your behalf.  If you are seeking permission yourself, for more information on how to do it see Requesting Permission From a Copyright Owner to Reproduce Material


Images: BlueStream Pictures, provided by the Greyhound Adoption Program

2 Responses to “On the 8th Day of Copyright Christmas”

  1. Jeff says:

    Keep the dog pix. Lose the cats.

  2. Andrea says:

    Great Blog post.. and love the grey hounds loving Christmas