Copyright Law

Introduction: The resource (4.1 Copyright) from AJ Park clearly outlines the copyright laws in New Zealand and abroad - in terms of literary work, music, recording, artistic, film and broadcasting etc. Copyright infringement is defined as, "Someone will infringe the rights of a copyright owner (or their licensee) by doing something that only the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do. This includes making copies, issuing copies to the public, importing copies, possessing copies, or dealing with infringing copies of a work." (P2)

Copyright in Schools

General school copyright information
The Copyright Act 1994 has educational exceptions that allow some use of copyrighted literacy, dramatic, musical, artistic and typographical works for educational purposes. These are:

  • One copy of the whole or part of a work for instructional purposes and use in a classroom
  • Up to 3% or 3 pages for students as long as no more than 50% of the work is copied e.g. no more than 50% of an article, poem or short story
  • Performance by or for students & staff
  • No cost recovery from students permitted

Copyright in Schools link in the Governing and Managing NZ Schools area of Te Kete Ipurangi clearly outlines the overview of Copyright legislation and clarifies the rights of authors and users.

Copyright laws related to the use of electronic materials on websites can also be found within the information on Te Kete Ipurangi. The focus of this article is on copying the layout of sites or code that websites are built upon rather than copying and pasting information from a site.

There is a general PDF guide and a Powerpoint presentation about copyright in schools available from the
Copyright Council of New Zealand.

Collective copyright agreements
Schools can pay a fee to be part of the CLL licensing scheme which allows for a greater use of copyrighted material for educational purposes.

Recommendation: Penalty fines and legal action are a real threat and consequence if we are not careful when using other people's material. A couple of ways to address this could be to:

Become familiar with the resources shared and know the Copyright laws thoroughly.

Guarantee your school documentation is clear on these matters and ensure that everyone in your school is aware of these regulations as well.

Reflection: We'd love to hear how schools are tackling this issue. Please feel free to share any developments you have made within your schools in the VoiceThread below. Others may benefit from your stories.