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Copyright at UNSW

Copyright considerations when recording lectures

In your lectures you might use materials produced by others or you might have a guest speaker. If you record lectures for students to stream or download, then you can only include copyright materials which are covered by a licence, exception or permission. 

The Copyright Act allows you to read a literary work or perform a dramatic work in the classroom. If a lecture that contains literary and dramatic works is recorded, then limits apply, a copyright warning notice must be displayed, and the creator of each work must be acknowledged.

Music can be played in the classroom and recorded as long as it cannot be downloaded. 

Screening of feature films, documentaries and commercial DVDs is permitted in a live classroom situation when it is for educational purposes and restricted to UNSW staff and students. 

If a commercial DVD or film is being screened in a recorded lecture, then it is advisable to pause the recording while the video is being played.
It may be possible to copy and communicate (record and upload to Moodle) short excerpts of video material for educational purposes under the flexible dealing provision or s200AB of the Copyright Act. 

Recordings of television or radio broadcasts during a lecture will be covered by the Statutory Licensing agreement (as set out in the Australian Copyright Act) with Screenrights. Find out more about how to use TV and radio broadcasts for teaching purposes.

Video content available on YouTube can be streamed in class and embedded in a learning management system as long as the content is embeddable, the video has been uploaded by the copyright owner and does not contain infringing material. Short excerpts may be recorded from YouTube for educational purposes under an exception of the Copyright Act but not full video content. If the full content of the video is played in the lecture, then it is advisable to pause the recording while the video is being played.

Contact your Outreach Librarian to see if you a copyright exception applies for educational purposes. 

Guest speakers

When you record a guest lecturer or an individual who is not employed by UNSW, regardless of the future uses you will make of the recording, you should acquire permission to make the recording beforehand. The permission ideally should also include all the envisaged future uses of the recording. For example, if you wish to record the lecture and place it on your Moodle, you should specify that use. If you wish to record the lecture and then use it for future courses outside of UNSW, you should specify that as well. You may also choose to get broad, global permission for all future uses.

You will be responsible for obtaining permissions from guest speakers or copyright owners if needed. You may want to keep records of the permission on file where they could be retrieved if required.

Using copyright materials in PowerPoint presentations

If PowerPoint presentations include any third-party copyright material (i.e. images, photographs), these may be included in the recorded lecture if they comply with the limits and conditions permitted under statutory licence agreements. A copyright warning notice must be displayed, and the creator of each work must be acknowledged. 

Find out more about using Copyright materials for teaching purposes

Need help?

UNSW staff and students can contact for assistance with a copyright query or to arrange a copyright information session.

Quick guides


Download a quick guide to copyright and teaching at UNSW (576KB PDF).

Copyright Warning Notice

The Copyright Warning Notice that is used for Statutory Licence copying and communication is available for text and images (21KB PDF) and broadcasts (21KB PDF).