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Copyright at MIT: For Students

What can I copy?

Materials in Moodle are covered by copyright. You may copy these materials for your own study and research purposes only. You must not pass them on to people who are not staff or students at MIT.

The Internet makes music, videos, pictures and text freely available to the general public. Like print material, Internet content can only be used if one of the following applies:

  • The copyright owner gives you written permission in response to a request for copyright clearance
  • The copyright owner has included a statement of permission in their materials
  • Your usage falls within the scope of the Exemptions & Special Agreements provisions

Music can be copied/downloaded only for study purposes.

Playing recorded music in class may constitute a public performance, and breech the owners' Copyright. If you wish to use music as part of a presentation, please use royalty free music.

Students may play legitimate copies of DVDs, films, CDs or other audio or audio-visual resources in class (ie, as part of an assessment task). The resources cannot be 'pirate' versions, for example downloaded from peer to peer/BitTorrent sites or copied from Youtube. This kind of 'live' presentation or 'performance' of content is allowed under Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (s. 28).

TV or radio programs can also be copied and played by students as part of an assessment task.

Copyright for images follows the rules for other types of material.

As a general rule, copying software without permission from the copyright owner is illegal and is not permitted.

Copying of materials from databases, electronic book and journal collections to which MIT Library subscribes (e.g. EBSCO or IBISWorld), is governed by licensing agreements between the University and the database provider.

In general, under such agreements students or staff may print or save limited amounts for their own study or research. Systematic printing or downloading is not permitted.

Photocopying and Scanning

You may copy for your personal research and study:

  • One chapter of a book, or 10% of the pages (10% of the words if the work is in electronic form) whichever is greater.
  • One article from a journal or newspaper, or more than one if each article is for the same research or course of study
  • 15 pages from an anthology (for example: a collection of short stories)
  • All of an artistic work, for example: a diagram or photo (when not available for separate purchase)
  • 10% of a sheet music piece or play 

Remember: these amounts are for personal or research purposes only. If you want to use something commercially, you will need to get permission and may need to pay licensing or usage fees.

MIT Copyright Officer

The Library Team Leader is the Copyright Officer at MIT.

Get in touch

Your own work

An original work created by a student is protected by copyright. Your permission is required by anyone wanting to copy or communicate your work.

Exceptions and Special Agreements

The Copyright Act's 'Fair dealing' allows the use of text material without permission for the following purposes:

  1. research or study - 10% or one chapter/article
  2. criticism or review - must acknowledge the work
  3. parody or satire
  4. reporting news
  5. professional advice e.g. by a lawyer

(Australian Copyright Council Fair Dealing 2014)

Educational institutions also have special agreements with copyright owners to allow them to digitise and electronically communicate copyright material.

Some works may be copied under Creative Commons licence.

External Copyright Contacts

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