Podcasts (and vodcasts) of programs broadcast in Australia by free to air radio and television broadcasters can be used for educational purposes under Part VA of the Copyright Act and the Screenrights Agreement. Podcasts from some overseas broadcasters can also be used.

What podcasts can I use?

  • podcasts of television or radio programs originally broadcast as free to air programs in Australia and then been made available as podcasts via the broadcaster’s website, e.g. those from the ABC
  • podcasts of overseas broadcasts where the host country is a signatory to the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations. A list of can be found at Rome Convention signatories.
    Countries such as the United States, New Zealand and China are not signatories to the Rome Convention. However, you may still be able to make a direct link to podcasts from broadcasters in these countries.

What use can I make of podcasts?

Podcasts copied under Part VA of the Copyirght Act can be used in the same way as copies of radio or TV broadcasts.
Possible uses include:

  • downloading a podcast to play or show in a class
  • downloading a podcast of a TV show from a broadcaster’s website and streaming it to your students for educational purposes via WebCT or Blackboard
  • distributing copies to your students via e-mail, CD or on a thumb drive as long as copies are appropriately marked

Limitations on use and access

The following limitations must be observed:

  • podcasts must be used for educational purposes
  • access must be restricted to University of Sydney staff and students
  • a Part VA Warning Notice should be displayed just before the podcast is downloaded by the students.
  • you may be required to report data about online podcasts during a survey period every 3-4 years

Marking requirements

Any hard copies produced such as CDs must be marked with the Part VA Label.

What podcasts can’t be used?

The University does not have the right to use the following podcasts under Part VA:

  • digital content created especially for the Internet but not broadcast as a radio or television program. This includes additional news coverage, extended interviews and any material added to the broadcaster’s website which has not been broadcast. This material is not covered by the Part VA and the Screenrights Agreement
  • podcasts from local cable television stations cannot be copied even though the programs may have been broadcast in Australia – only podcasts which has been broadcast on free-to-air television or radio are covered by Part VA
  • podcasts from websites such as YouTube, Flicker or MySpace. Always download podcasts from the original provider’s website rather than one of these sources as its possible that material have been placed on these sites the copyright owner’s permission and may infringe copyright

You may still be able to use or access some of these podcasts particularly those created especially for the Internet. The following tips may assist:

  • check the conditions of use for the website - they may permit downloading for educational or non-commercial use
  • create a link to the podcast so that your students can access the material themselves.
  • contact the copyright owner and ask for obtain permission to use the material