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Copyright - SWTAFE Students: Home

Copyright Introduction

Copyright applies to all types of different material such as books, magazine articles, music and films.  Copyright usually belongs to the person who created the work and they have the right to control how their work is used.

Under the Copyright Act students are allowed to use copyright material for research and study. If you are copying or scanning material you are able to to use up to:

  • 10% of the pages, or one chapter, from a book
  • One article from a journal or more than one if on the same subject matter.
  • 10% of number of words from an electronic source.

In order to use more than these allowances you need to:

  • Create the work yourself
  • Have permission from the copyright owner
  • Use material that allows for personal use or for research and study. This is usually indicated in the verso page of the material or if online, in the "terms and conditions" of the website.
  • Use Creative Commons material. Creative commons licences allow users to share, reuse and remix the material, depending on the licence attached to the material. To search for Creative Commons material access this site - CCSearch. Here is a list of the licences available and what they mean:


To avoid any copyright issues use images that are free for educational purposes. Free images can be found on these sites:

If using Google to find images, make sure you limit the search so that only free images appear in the results. In the search results click on:

  • Tools > Usage rights > Labeled for noncommercial reuse


It is important to acknowledge the source of any material you use in the course of your study.

Here are some guides to assist you with citations and bibliographies.

Brief Guide to Referencing
Referencing FAQs

More information

More information can be found on these sites:

Copyright Video

Copyright! short film. Produced by Federation University Australia in collaboration with GoTAFE.

An entertaining and engaging video to educate students on what copyright is and how to avoid copyright infringement.


Students are able to play commercially produced DVDs,films and videos in class as part of an assessment or for research and study. Streamed online videos, such as those available through the SWTAFE library, and Youtube can be streamed live in class for educational purposes as long as it is not an illegal or pirated copy.

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