Copyright notices on websites

It’s important that the terms of use for your website reflect your intentions. The clearer the terms of use, the better for everyone.

Some people want all of their website content to be subject to copyright, whereas others might make certain content free for, say, educational purposes. Others might want all of their web content to be allowed to be copied for free. The website’s terms of use should reflect this.

When, for instance, a school uses website content in the classroom and that information appears in one of our surveys, the Copyright Agency looks at the website terms of use to determine if the content was allowed to be copied for free or a licence fee is payable. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Here are steps you can take to assist us to give effect to your intentions if you want to be allocated payments for the use of your internet content under our licences.

Do:

  • include a link to your terms of use on each page of your website (a link in the footer is common practice)
  • have a separate webpage for your terms of use (rather than including the terms with, for example, your privacy policy);
  • make sure that the terms of use for each piece of content on your site, including downloadable files, is clear
  • get a lawyer to check your terms of use

Don’t:

  • use any of the following phrases without qualification: ‘non commercial use’, ‘use in your organisation’, ‘all rights reserved’, ‘free copying’, ‘free for education’
  • simply prohibit commercial use (this will be treated as allowing any non commercial use, such as educational and government use)
  • have more than one terms of use on your site, unless it is completely clear which terms of use apply to each piece of content on the site
  • use the word “free” without being clear about:
  1. what is “free”: for example, viewing, downloading one copy for personal use, downloading one copy to use in connection with teaching, and
  2. for whom the use is free: for example, teachers who subscribe to your loyalty program or alert service

DOWNLOADABLE FILES

For files downloadable from your website:

  • in your terms of use, cover the use of files downloadable from your site as well as the use of content from webpages;
  • include the copyright symbol (©), the name of the copyright owner, and the URL for the terms of use, in each downloadable file (if possible, on each page of the downloadable file: once a document has been downloaded, schools may copy parts of it and those parts may not include the copyright notice or terms of use)
  • if you invite visitors to your site to download and print documents from the site, make sure that invitation is subject to your terms of use; and
  • add metadata to your files covering the terms of use

SAMPLE COPYRIGHT TERMS OF USE

© [name of rightsholder or rightsholders] [publication year]: e.g.  © XYZ Press and contributors 2014

[date of terms of use]

Except as permitted by the copyright law applicable to you, you may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this website, including files downloadable from this website, without the permission of the copyright owner.

The Australian Copyright Act allows certain uses of content from the internet without the copyright owner’s permission. This includes uses by educational institutions and by Commonwealth and State governments, provided fair compensation is paid. For more information, see www.copyright.com.au and www.copyright.org.au.

The owners of copyright in the content on this website may receive compensation for the use of their content by educational institutions and governments, including from licensing schemes managed by Copyright Agency.

We may change these terms of use from time to time. Check before re-using any content from this website.

This information is for guidance only. It is not legal advice.

 

Share Tweet