Using online content

Online material from the internet is protected by copyright, you'll need to check the terms of use when referencing material from databases and ebooks.

Material from the internet

Material on the internet is protected by copyright. It is simpler from a copyright perspective if you provide students with a link to the webpage you wish to use.

If you are aware or have reason to suspect that the material is infringing Copyright Law you shouldn’t link to it.

Providing internet content

If you want to provide students with a copy of material from the internet via Blackboard you can do so under section 44A of the Copyright Act so long as the work:

  • is displayed in a frame/identifier
  • identifies the author (where possible) and source of the work
  • states Victoria as the user
  • includes the date of storage
  • is restricted the material to authenticated users
  • is delete the material when no longer relevant to the course.

You can provide students a link as long as it's not a link to infringing content (eg. an illegal movie). The easiest way to provide students with access to material on the internet or by using an electronic system like Blackboard.

Tips for providing internet content

Make sure the content your providing to:

  • for educational purposes
  • restricted to authenticated users
  • displayed in a frame or identifier.

Using Talis Aspire (course resources tool)

Once you're using Talis Aspire (the course resources tool) it is recommended that you provide links to the material to students.

Providing internet content in hardcopy

If you want to provide material from the internet in hardcopy to students (eg. print outs or student notes) it can be difficult as it can only be copied where:

  • the terms and conditions allow
  • you have permission
  • the work is available under a creative commons licence or is an open access resource
  • where the amount copied is no greater than three percent (3%) or three pages of the total work (unless that would mean the whole work is copied, in which case only 50 percent can be copied). You can’t rely upon the 3 percent / three page limitation where there will be a charge to students to receive the material.

The 14 day rule applies so the same material should not be copied within 14 days.

The three percent limitation cannot be relied on where the notes for a course will be sold as a course pack.

Material from the library databases and e-books

The University purchases the right to use material contained in electronic databases and e-books. The terms under which these databases are purchased determine what they can be used for.

Providing links to students

Best practice is to give the electronic link or address for the relevant information to students, allowing them to access the materials directly from the database site themselves. This also allows the database to record a “hit” so the database and the library have a record of what works are being accessed and it is simpler from a copyright perspective.

Checking the terms of use

However some of the licences do not permit multiple copies of the database materials to be made and distributed to students. Before copying and/or distributing material from such databases, you should check the “terms of use” via the library catalogue. If the terms don’t allow for inclusion in course packs, students can still be asked to access and print their own copy if they require a hardcopy.