Students own copyright in the work they produce within the course of their university studies, including retaining copyright in assignments and theses. When on work placement, students will sign a Student Consent for Placement form to assign copyright to the host organisation, but will still be able to include copies of their placement work within formal assessments about their placement. In some circumstances, students participating in research activities may assign intellectual property to the university. Students writing theses that will be submitted to the library will still own the copyright in the thesis but are bound by the HDR Thesis Rules to allow the University to make a copy of it public.
Students are expected to abide by copyright laws in addition to their academic integrity responsibilities. See more information on the difference between referencing and copyright.
Using other people’s material in an assignment
Students do not have to seek copyright permission to include small portions of other people’s work in their assignments, although they will still have to reference this material. A small portion includes quotes, whole images, and up to a whole journal article or book chapter (where it is appropriate to do so). Students are also able to use music for assignments. In both cases, use of material is only permitted without permission if the assignment is not being publicly shared or used for other purposes. Permission would be required if the work will be posted online, published, used at an employer, or otherwise distributed.
For example, if a student creates a video with images and music, they will have to obtain permission or purchase a licence to use those images and songs if they decide to post the video online outside of FLO (e.g. YouTube). They do not have to obtain permission if the video assignment will only be submitted for assessment or shown in class. The reason for this distinction is that use for personal research or study is permitted by a legal exception called ‘Fair Dealing’ (not to be mistaken with fair use). Fair Dealing is no longer applicable when the material is being circulated or published.
Students preparing a thesis that will be shared online need to seek permission for publications and third party figures included within their thesis, see the Thesis submission page for more information.
Copyright in material provided to students
Flinders University provides enrolled students with access to some third party copyright material for educational purposes. This includes books and ebooks from the library, digital journal articles, streamed videos and other content in Reading Lists or FLO. This material is provided for a student’s individual use only and cannot be shared with others, although students may save or print portions (e.g. single articles or book chapters) for their own private study.
Flinders University is the copyright owner of teaching material created by its staff members which includes lecture notes, assignment questions, quizzes, exams and lecture recordings. Material of this nature which has been provided for educational purposes should not be redistributed, including via document sharing sites like StuDocu, Chegg, and CourseHero. Uploading class material to these sites is a breach of the Acceptable Use of Technology Procedures and may also result in discipline for failing to meet academic integrity standards.
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