Internet/Web Publishing

See Artistic works for information about copying images from the Internet.
See Literary Works for more information about copying text from the Internet.
See Written music, Recorded music and Films for information about sound recordings and moving images.

The Internet is not a copyright free zone and copyright laws apply, sometimes more stringently than for other communication mediums such as print. Just because someone chooses to put something on the web for general public access does not mean the information can be copied, either in full or in part.

There is no specific category in the Copyright Act for the Internet or web sites. The content of the web site will determine what copyright rules apply. For example, text on a webpage is considered a literary work, images are covered by artistic works, animations - films, sounds - sound recordings. A web site may be subject to copyright for several different categories or works and subject matter.

Using Material that is on the Internet

Just because something is available 'publicly' on the Internet doesn’t mean there is an implied license to copy any material.  Check the 'terms and conditions' of use at the particular web site or 'copyright disclaimer'.  Personal use is different to educational use, e.g. online course material.  If the terms and conditions of use clearly say that copying is free for educational purposes, no royalties are payable by the University nor record keeping required.  The terms and conditions may say if limited or whole copying allowable or if communications can be done on-line.  In the absence of any specific limits assume the limits are no more than 10 per cent of the total word count, one chapter or one journal article.

Links on a web site to other web sites are not copying and are therefore not infringement. See Linking for more information. Be careful about linking to infringing web sites. Before copying or communicating any material from the web, check to see if there are any statements about copyright at the particular web site, sometimes called 'terms and conditions of use' or 'copyright disclaimer'. If such a statement is lacking, don't assume that this means you can copy 'substantial' portions or the entire 'work'. Copying and communication limits apply to the Internet in the same way as other communication media.

If using material from the internet for education purposes, refer to the Guidelines for Using Copyright Material for Educational Purposes.

Publishing Material on the Internet

Material that is available on the Internet is considered 'published'.

If you are creating webpages for the University make sure that the University copyright statement is included; it is usually included as part of the template. See

Be carefully if you are using third party copyright material, i.e. where you or the University are not the copyright owners. If you are using it for educational purposes, refer to the Guidelines for Using Copyright Material for Educational Purposes. If you are using the material for other purposes, you will need to get permission from the copyright owner.

If an external consultant is paid to create a University web site, a written agreement should be made which ensures that the copyright of the web site is owned by the University. It should also be clear who is responsible for clearing copyright in third party material if required, and who is entitled to make changes to the site in the future .

If you find that someone outside the University is infringing your copyright, e.g. using your material on an overseas web site, you may wish to take further action. It is recommended that you try and resolve the matter informally to begin with, by contacting the person/s and advising them that they are using your material without your permission. Some organisations have 'take-down' procedures which can be used as a way of contact. Seek legal advice if these options are not successful.

Web publishing guidelines available

Linking to Websites

A hyperlink, or link, is a reference in an html document to another document or web site. Linking is a practical way to provide direct access to electronic material without having to reproduce the material and avoids infringing copyright. This applies to text, graphics and audio-visual material on the web.

Linking is efficient because it conveys the exact message as intended by the original creator - and in context. It saves copying and retyping. It is entirely permissible under copyright so long as you do not link to infringing material. Linking to infringing material may be seen as promoting or authorising the infringement, and is not permitted under the Copyright Act. Links can be included either in email or on websites.

Deep linking is when you link to specific information in a web site beyond the home page.  Check the terms and conditions of the web site to make sure that deep linking is permitted. If a web site requests that you do not deep link to its pages, this request should be observed.

You can link to website or pages for educational purposes and it is recommended that you do this where possible, rather than saving or printing them.
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