Explanations of terms used in the Copyright Act and this website.

Communication   Defined in the Copyright Act as making a work available online or electronically transmitting a work.
Note the following:
  • a work is made available online when it is uploaded onto a server in a form that can be accessed by users. If a work is uploaded onto a server in a form which is not able to be accessed it is not being made available within the meaning of the Act.
  • a work is electronically transmitted when it is sent as a file attachment or an email to another person.
Educational purposes  

The Copyright Act states that a copy of the whole or a part of a work is made for the educational purposes of an educational institution if:

  • it is made, retained for use, or used, in connection with a particular course of instruction provided by the institution; or
  • it is made, retained for inclusion, or is included, in the collection of a library of the institution.

Educational purposes do not cover other activities of the University, such as research, marketing and promotion or engagement, for example public lectures.


In copyright context, something is "published" if copies have been made available to the general public. (Including by being performed, broadcast or recorded and sold.)

  • If something is not "published", copyright continues indefinitely.
  • If the material has been circulated without permission from the copyright owner, or copies have been made by an educational institution, government or library relying on the Copyright Act, the material will not have been "published".
Separately published   A work is said to have been published if copies have been available to the public for purchase or by other means.
Special provisions in the Copyright Act apply to works published in anthologies which may have not been separately published and to artistic works which have been published as part of another work such as a book or article in periodical.
Determining if these works have been separately published can be difficult and depends on the type of material and the discipline involved.

Statutory   licence

  A licence contained in the Copyright Act, which allows certain uses of copyright material without the permission of the copyright owner but requires payment to the copyright owner, usually via a collecting society, and compliance with other rules set out in the licence (such as record keeping requirements or obligations to include copyright notices with copied and communicated materials). Part VA and Part VB are examples of statutory licences.
Third-party copyright material   Refers to copyright material to which another person holds the rights, that is, material for which neither you nor the University of Sydney are the copyright owner.
University Event   An event at the University, or some other venue, organised or authorised by the University including live musical performances by students or staff.
This definition includes graduations, open days or exhibition openings, as long as an admission fee is not charged.