Content for the general public
Most University of Sydney websites are created specifically for public access, which has implications for the management of copyright material:
- a website as a whole is not protected by copyright. However, the individual parts which make up a website are protected, including the text, artworks, graphics and the underlying software.
- if the content of the site was created by a University staff member as part of their regular duties, the copyright in the content will belong to the University
- if the content was supplied by a designer or photographer employed to write text or take photographs for the website, the copyright situation will depend on the nature of the agreement between the University and the contractor
- when you employ a consultant (who is not an employee of the University of Sydney) to supply content for a website, you should arrange for a written contract that deals with such matters as the ownership of copyright, the use that may be made of the material and the moral rights of the creator. See the University’s client-photographer agreement (Word doc).
The Copyright Act does not give the University the right to make third party copyright material available to the general public via its websites or to use such material for any commercial purpose. The copyright owner’s permission will be required before you can upload their material.
Some exceptions to this rule include:
- works which are out of copyright – see Duration of copyright
- occasions when a publisher has given an author permission to upload their publications to an institutional repository or personal website - see Uploading your research publications to Sydney eScholarship Repository
- works made available under conditions which permit use by educational organisations such as a Creative Commons licence
Note the following points in relation to obtaining permission from copyright owners:
- you may be required to pay a fee for use of the material, so factor some costs into your planning
- it can take time to arrange and you may not always obtain the permission you need
- keep a record of any permissions you obtain
- acknowledge the source of any third party material that you use
- indicate on the website that the material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner
- see Hints on obtaining copyright clearances for more information on obtaining permission to use material.
Marketing & promotional use
The points set out above also apply if you want to include third party copyright material in print or online promotional and marketing materials.
Always ask for the copyright owner’s permission to use the material for promotional or marketing purposes, unless the conditions of use clearly indicate that this type of use is permitted.
Marketing and promotion would include the following types of use:
- copying media stories featuring the University and its staff
and posting these to alumni or potential students
- uploading articles about graduates from newspapers to a faculty website
- including photos from a book or magazine in a print or online newspaper advertisement for a University lecture or exhibition
- using photographs of people. This requires their written permission first. A number of release forms are available from the Publications Office.