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New to research: Copyright

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property. It gives the copyright holder exclusive rights to control uses of their work, including:

  • reproduction
  • communication
  • publication
  • adaptation 
  • performance

Copyright at Curtin

Copyright at Curtin helps Curtin staff and students understand their obligations and entitlements, including:

  • University’s Statutory Licences
  • Copyright warning notices and labelling requirements
  • Higher Degree Theses

Curtin staff and students are both creators and users of copyright material.

Acknowledging Your Sources

Acknowledge your sources by:

  • Attributing the creator of the material under the Moral Rights provisions of the Copyright Act (the right of attribution).
  • Cite any material that you copy and re-use. Include author, title, source and URL.

An infringement of moral rights is considered an infringement of copyright.

Fair Dealing for Research or Study

The Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act permit an individual to copy a limited part of a work without infringing copyright provided that the purpose is for research or study, or for criticism or review.

To determine whether activity is a "fair dealing for research or study", a court may consider the following:

  • the purpose and character of the dealing;
  • the nature of the material;
  • the possibility of obtaining the material within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price;
  • the effect upon the potential market for the material; and
  • the amount and substantiality of the part copied or communicated in relation to the whole item.

For more information on the Fair Dealing provisions visit the Copyright Website.

Requesting Permission to Use Copyright Material

If you want to copy more than the ‘fair dealing’ copying limits, communicate more than is allowed by the statutory licenses, or if you want to include copyright material in a publication or thesis:

  • In your permission letter, make it clear how you intend to use the material (e.g. non-commercial or educational purposes) and who will have access to it.
  • Ensure you get permission in writing and keep a record of it. Permission via email is acceptable.
  • Abide by any conditions imposed.
  • On the copies themselves make it clear you have copied the material with permission (e.g. ‘reproduced with permission of the copyright holder’) and reference correctly.

Contact Us

Contact the Copyright Officer by email, or phone (+61 8) 9266 7494 for queries relating to:

  • Use of copyright material for teaching and research purposes;
  • Copyright information sessions;
  • Library database licence agreements.

Copyright Ownership at Curtin

At Curtin, students own the copyright in the work they create as part of their studies and in their theses, unless they agree otherwise in writing. For more information check the following:

The University owns copyright in works created by staff in the course of their normal employment, including course materials and teaching resources.

The University does not claim ownership of other scholarly works created by staff, including articles, books and other research outputs.

For more information on copyright ownership at Curtin see: