Librarian Ross Bruzzese on NIDA’s commitment to copyright compliance

June 7, 2023

Introducing Ross Bruzzese, Librarian at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), who is deeply committed to upholding copyright compliance and fostering a culture of respect for intellectual property within the institution. With extensive experience and a passion for academic integrity, Ross plays a vital role in ensuring that NIDA’s teaching and learning environment operates within the boundaries of copyright laws and licences.

Q: Why is copyright compliance important to NIDA?

A: It allows us to maintain a good deal of flexibility while maintaining boundaries that support the copyright holder within the boundaries of the licence. This is one reason why I like using FLEX so much!

Q: How has the Statutory Education Licence impacted the teaching and learning experience at NIDA? What materials do you typically use under the licence?

A: Working with the SEL fits in well within our teaching platform, particularly since we’ve implemented using FLEX, which automatically calculates copy percentages, etc. There have been a few instances where I’ve told lecturers that they cannot add in extra chapters of the same book to their platform – FLEX doesn’t allow that, of course – and we’ve come up with suitable alternatives as a result. Personally, I really like that sense of order that having a licence like SEL provides us.

Materials we typically use under the licence are mostly chapters from scholarly texts along with journal articles.

Q: How has the Statutory Education Licence helped with the shift to online or any other challenges that you’re still facing?

A: It helps with format-shifting. With the example of VHS tapes or DVDs harnessed from FTA television, we can legally upload these into our educational streaming service, ClickView, and recycle all component parts of the DVD disc and case.

The licence also allows us to create scans of scenes or monologues from full-length playscripts. We email these scans over to teachers who make as many copies as required for their classroom setting.

The licence provides us with some leeway when purchasing scripts for student productions. We can legally use photocopies of the script if the purchased script is not made available within a reasonable time, usually 30 days. For myself I rarely invoke this attribute of the licence, preferring instead to fulfill the purchase to its rightful conclusion (and I always order these scripts months in advance), but in rare instances – such as for our upcoming June production season – our scripts for one production hadn’t arrived within sixteen weeks of ordering and so I cancelled that order as rehearsals for the play had already commenced.

Q: Have you encountered any challenges or issues related to copyright in your institution, and if so, how have you addressed them?

A: In a few instances, we’ve invoked Section 200AB on materials such as VHS tapes where a copy in another usable format was required for teaching purposes, whereby other formats were not either commercially available or were not held by other libraries. We’ve also invoked Section 200AB to create hanging files for viewing only, where the script was provided by bespoke collections within other (usually university) libraries.


Ross Bruzzese, with his extensive knowledge and expertise, ensures that NIDA maintains a strong commitment to copyright compliance. His diligent approach to copyright education and his ability to navigate copyright-related challenges contribute significantly to NIDA’s educational excellence.

Thanks Ross!

About NIDA:

Founded in 1958 as Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, NIDA is both Australia’s preeminent performing arts educator, and one of the most globally respected brands in its field. NIDA’s unparalleled practice-based learning, connections to industry and culture of innovation have produced some of the world’s most influential and in-demand storytellers across stage, screen and beyond.

NIDA has agreements in place with both Copyright Agency and Screenrights for the Statutory Education Licences that they administer.