A major area of responsibility of Universities Australia is the monitoring of government legislation and policies with implications for the ownership and use of copyright materials by staff and students in universities.  Guides and information are available to assist universities to develop clear policies on the use of copyright works, and managing ownership of intellectual property generated by them.

In accordance with the requirements of the Copyright Act 1968, Universities Australia and its member universities have signed agreements with both Copyright Agency  and Screenrights. These are copyright collecting societies set up under the Act to collect remuneration from universities copying and communicating print and broadcast copyright material for educational purposes, on behalf of students and staff. Universities Australia negotiates these agreements on behalf of member universities, monitors the effects of the agreements, and assists the independently appointed monitoring bodies with the annual surveys of usage of copyright materials in universities.

Similarly, Universities Australia has negotiated a direct licence with the four music collecting societies - the Australasian Performing Right AssociationAustralasian Mechanical Copyright Owners' SocietyPhonographic Performance Company of Australia, and Australian Record Industry Association - covering copying and communication of musical works and sound recordings, performance of such material in public, and music-on-hold. Universities Australia administers and monitors this licence on behalf of subscribing universities. Information on all three licences can be viewed here.

Universities Australia maintains close liaison with Copyright Officers within its member universities, and provides a resource area for Copyright Officers to access.

Universities Australia is also an active member of the Australian Digital Alliance, and has supported the Australian Information and Communications Technology in Education Committee in its advice and submissions to Government on copyright matters.

Information Policy and Copyright Information

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Response by Universities Australia to the draft Terms of Reference for the ALRC Review on Copyright and the Digital Economy (pdf 100.5KB) 24 Apr 2012
Response by Universities Australia to the draft terms of reference for the Australian Law Reform Commission reference on copyright and the digital economy July 2012.
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Study 2: EUS Review (pdf 561.6KB) 9 Jul 2010
Copyright Agency and Universities Australia commissioned Nielsen to undertake a review of the Electronic Use System.
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University Monitoring System Evaulation (pdf 476.6KB) 10 May 2010
In 2010 Copyright Agency and Universities Australia commissioned a study to evaluate the current copyright Monitoring System (System) operating in universities. The System involves monitoring of a number of universities each year to gather data on copying and communication activity undertaken by universities for their educational purposes. This data is then used by Copyright Agency to distribute the annual fee paid by universities to the copyright owners of material copied and communicated by universities. The research was undertaken to assess whether improvements might be made to increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of the System in respect of it gathering sufficiently accurate data to meet its objectives.
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University IT Systems: Managing Liability for Transmitting, Caching, Hosting and Linking to Copyright Material (pdf 116KB) 1 Mar 2007
University IT Systems: Managing Liability for Transmitting, Caching, Hosting and Linking to Copyright Material – an AVCC Resource Paper
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Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: the Legal Landscape (pdf 73.6KB) 1 Nov 2003
The music and motion picture industries have declared war on peer-to-peer (P2P) file trading. Universities, both in Australia and overseas, have been a major focus of this campaign. This paper examines the legal landscape relating to P2P file trading. Is it per se illegal? Who can be liable? What, potentially, are the penalties? In Australia, three universities have been subject to Federal Court action by the music industry with a view to seeking evidence that students have been using university systems to engage in unlawful trading of music files. The copyright liability arising from the use by staff, students and others of university computer systems to engage in P2P file sharing is, potentially, very significant. This activity can, depending on the circumstances, trigger both civil and criminal liability. Universities are actively managing these copyright compliance risks. The AVCC has recently circulated a Resource Paper on Content, IT Systems and the Internet, to assist them in this process. This additional paper is designed to compliment the earlier resource paper. It does not however contain an exhaustive discussion of the law relating to P2P but rather, is intended to answer some of the questions which arise and to explode some of the myths. If universities are to address the challenge posed by the rise of P2P networks they will need to get the message out to staff and students that use of university systems to engage in practices which infringe copyright exposes the university and the individuals involved to civil and possibly criminal sanctions, and that such use will not be tolerated. It is hoped that this Information Paper will assist universities in that challenging but important endeavour.
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