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Copyright Infringement in your RTO?

JULY 2018


Skin Deep Learning has reviewed a recent article from the ASQA newsletter about Copyright.  Here is a short version to help you to determine if there is copyright infringement in your RTO.

For RTOs to deliver high-quality vocational training and education, RTOs need to access and use information from a variety of sources such as textbooks. However, there is often uncertainty around what information an RTO can legally use. Here are a few facts that each RTO needs to keep in mind:

You can’t copy a copyrighted work

Most works are covered by copyright. If your trainers copy and share text, assessment questions, observation forms, policies and procedures or treatment plans that were created by others, they will need permission from the copyright owner to do so.

Australia’s copyright law does allow the use of up to 10 per cent of a work without permission in special circumstances (e.g. a student can use 10 percent of a work for research or study). However, educators are NOT allowed this 10 percent leeway, unless your organisation has paid for a statutory education copyright license and notified the Copyright Agency whose copyright you are utilising.

Please note: even a very small part of someone else’s work requires permission if that part is important or integral and was the result of skill and time.


Crediting the content creator when using their work is not sufficient

Even if you accredit the copyright owner their economic rights also need to be addressed. The copyright owner will almost certainly require a payment in order to allow any copying of their works.  Your RTO is a profitable business and it is not fair, appropriate or lawful to copy copyrighted materials as this will negatively impact the owner of the copyright.

RTOs are responsible for the copyright compliance of their employees

It is your responsibility as the RTO to ensure content used by your staff members and casual educators is not copied.

What happens if I find out my RTO has infringed copyright?

Stop using the infringing material immediately.  The more it is used, the worse the penalties can be. 

Inform the owner of the copyright and make arrangements for a payment to be made.

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