Copyright may seem like a boring topic to be reading about, especially as there could be so many other things you would rather be doing right now. But infringement of Copyright laws (breaking the rules), if caught, is an offence in Australia and can cost you a significant amount of money and in more serious cases can even land you in gaol.

So if you are planning on making the library photocopier you friend while you are studying with us, it may be worthwhile to take a moment, ignore the call of Facebook and have a read of what you can and cannot do.

Why does Copyright exist in the first place?

Copyright exists to establish and protect the rights of the creators and owners of intellectual property. This includes not only the written word, but also music, recordings, film, artworks, performances and software. It is meant to discourage other people from making unauthorised reproductions (copies without permission) of an original work and thus taking advantage without offering pay or recognition to the author. Lucky for us there are exceptions to some of the rules that copyright law stipulates.

Don’t remove the Copyright warnings!

As an educational institution we are able to reproduce certain amounts of works for the purposes of instruction or teaching and can also post these electronically, on Moodle, accompanied by a Copyright warning. As a student, taking this notice off is an offence. In all cases, Alphacrucis will acknowledge the authorship of a work not published by us.

Am I allowed to make any photocopies?

As a library we are able to not only hold books and other copyrighted material in the collection for you to borrow, but we can also provide you with the ability to reproduce limited amounts of those works for the purposes of research or study. The Copyright notice next to the photocopier is there as a reminder about the rules of Copyright. It is our responsibility to make sure it is always there and always up to date with any amendments to the Copyright Act as they apply to the reproduction of works for the purposes of research or study. It is your responsibility to take notice of it, understand what it says and abide by it.

So what exactly can I copy?

As a student, for the purposes of research or study, you are able to reproduce a limited amount of a work, either as a hard copy or electronically.

For books you are limited to 10% of the total number of pages or one chapter whichever is greater.

For journals or periodicals you are limited to one article from the one issue. You are allowed more than one article if they are related to the same research or study. For example, if you find two articles, one for Theology, the other for Ethics, you cannot copy both.

When photocopying or scanning from an item it is a good idea to also photocopy or scan the title page and the publication details. It will mean that you will have all the information you need for proper citation should you find a gem in what you have copied that is going to tie your essay together and earn you that HD. It would be a shame if you lost that HD because you did not reference properly!

Any mistakes (“oh no, I’ve only got the top half of the page!”) that you make when photocopying a copyrighted work need to be destroyed before you leave the library. Taking them home can be seen as having made two copies of the same material, and that is an infringement.

Can I give my mom access to my course material?

The course material and additional readings that Alphacrucis makes available to you are for the exclusive use of students and staff of Alphacrucis. Passing these on to someone not enrolled with or employed by Alphacrucis is an infringement of not only the Copyright of the Authors, but also of the Copyright of the course material owned by Alphacrucis.

If you are unsure of anything relating to copyright you can ask for clarification from the librarian, either in person, over the phone, online or by email (see here for library contact details).