Copyright update - changes for 2018

A number of changes to the Copyright Act took effect in 2018.  Here's a quick guide to some impacts for staff.

New Statutory Licence

A new, more flexible Educational licence has been included the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act). Key implications:

  1. Part VA and Part VB have been removed from the Act, replaced with the new licence in S113P.
  2. Existing agreements with Copyright Australia and Screenrights mean that staff should copy and communicate no more than would have been permitted under the old Part VB and Part VA statutory licences.
  3. A new required warning notice replaced the old Part VA and Part VB notices. Copies of material made available under the new section of the Act (S113P) must include the new notice. You do not need to replace the notice on existing material copied and communicated under the old Part VA or VB.
  4. An exception to point 2 above - it is now possible to communicate more than one chapter of a work online provided each additional chapter is for a different course of study. However, communication of 3rd party copyright material online must still be managed via the Course Readings system.

Changes to provisions for Disability Services

Disability access provisions have been simplified and extended to provide more equitable access to copyright material. The existing provisions have been replaced by two new exceptions: fair dealing for the purpose of access by persons with a disability, and use of copyright material by organisations assisting persons with a disability. Key implications:

  1. There is more scope for both copying and format conversion of material if the material is for the purpose of providing an accessible version to a person with a disability, and the dealing is ‘fair'.
  2. Technological Protection Measures (TPM). It may now be possible to circumvent TPMs if you are relying on the new disability copying exceptions in the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act (CADM Act.) This means you may be able to make copies of DVDs, eBooks etc., that were previously protected by a technological barrier.

Changes to copyright terms

Changes to the copyright terms for unpublished works, and works where the identity of the author is unknown (orphan works), commenced January 1, 2019.

For more information about any of these changes, please contact the Copyright Advisor at

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.