Copying 'insubstantial' portions

The 'insubstantial' portion provisions contained in ss 135ZG and 135ZMB of the Copyright Act allows the University to make multiple copies of and to communicate an 'insubstantial' portion of a literary or dramatic work for educational purposes, without being in breach of copyright. This exception does not extend to other types of works.

An 'insubstantial' portion is:

  • one or two pages of a literary or dramatic work which is in hardcopy form, or
  • no more than one percent of the total number of pages in a literary, dramatic or notated musical work if there are more than 200 pages (be careful, see paragraph on right), or
  • no more than one per cent of the words in a literary work if in an electronic work.

Some restrictions apply:

  • The copying or communication must be carried out on University premises
  • A period of more than 14 days must elapse before another insubstantial portion of the same work can be copied or communicated
  • Material which is copied / communicated in reliance on this provision must be continuous passages (i.e. you can’t cut and paste different passages of the work to make up the 2 pages
  • Any part of a work previously made available online in reliance on this provision must be taken down before making another part available online in reliance on this provision. Material must be made available online through the Unit of Study eReadings system operated by the University Library.
  • You must acknowledge the author or creator of the work under the Moral Rights clauses of the Copyright Act.