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Film and screen studies: Copyright

Selected resources for Film and screen studies

Material out of copyright

This information only applies if the images, sound recordings or films you are using are still within the period of copyright protection.

  • Text: Life of the author plus 70 years unless the author died before 1 Jan 1955. In that case the work is in the public domain.
  • Images:  life of the artist/photographer plus 70 years. Note: In Australia any photograph taken before 1955 is out of copyright.
  • Films: 70 years after the film is released
  • Sound recordings: 70 years after date of first release.
  • Television broadcasts: 50 years after the first broadcast.

Research

You can use images in your research under copyright law as long as

  1. You haven’t agreed to terms of use that prevent use in research eg non-commercial use only and the research is actually funded by a commercial partner and
  2. The use falls under a 'Fair Dealing' purpose eg research and study, criticism and review and
  3. The use is fair eg is there harm to the owner in your use? Could you purchase the item instead of copying it?  Or
  4. Your use falls within the explicit licence terms of the image or
  5. You get permission to use the image from the copyright owner.
  6. You haven't removed a digital watermark or other electronic rights management information without permission from the copyright owner.

You can't usually rely on fair dealing for making multiple copies, or making images available to the general public (publishing). These activities would require permission from the copyright owners (usually the photographer, the artist, the publisher or an Image library such as Getty Images). All images should be properly attributed. See Moral Rights.

Consult the Copyright Adviser for further advice and refer to the general information on Fair Dealing and on Using images in your assignments, coursework or research.

You can use audiovisual material in your research under copyright law as long as

  1. You haven’t agreed to terms of use that prevent use in research eg non-commercial use only and the research is actually funded by a commercial partner and
  2. The use falls under a 'Fair Dealing' purpose eg research and study, criticism and review and
  3. The use is fair eg is there harm to the owner in your use? Could you purchase the item instead of copying it?  Or
  4. Your use falls within the explicit licence terms of the audiovisual material or
  5. You get permission to use the material from the copyright owner.
  6. You are not circumventing any technological protection measures in copying eg commercial DVDs are protected by CSS which is supposed to prevent copying, although it is easily bypassed. Using software that copies DVDs may breach these provisions. See FAQs
  7. You haven't removed a digital watermark or other electronic rights management information without permission from the copyright owner.

You can't usually rely on fair dealing for making multiple copies, or making material available to the general public (eg publishing by placing it online). These activities would normally require permission from the copyright owners (usually the film studio, the TV station or channel, the director or producer or the distributor).

See the databases tab in this guide for information about the library’s licensed audio and audiovisual databases that can be linked to in moodle or from lecture slides. Another source of material is TV broadcasts or legitimate DVDs. These can be copied under 'Fair Dealing' but it is unclear how much can be copied because fairness is determined on a case by case basis.

Youtube has legitimate channels such as Vevo as well as other content placed there by the rightsholder. This can be played in class or you can embed a YouTube video in your presentation or moodle site. Ensure the content you are showing is authorised as Youtube includes much potentially infringing material.

Performers rights
There is separate copyright in performances. If you are recording a performance or being recorded as a performer, the performer has the right to refuse being recorded, over the use of the recording and may have ownership rights over sound recordings of live performances. Performers also have the right to be credited as the performer in the recording. See Moral Rights.

More information is at Recording performances.

Please contact the Copyright Adviser if you are unsure of the status of the material.

Teaching

You can use images in your teaching under copyright law as long as

  1. You haven’t agreed to any terms and conditions preventing this use eg you haven’t clicked on an ‘I agree’ button that you will only use the image for personal use and
  2. You follow the terms of the Educational copyright licence meaning
    •  Access is restricted to students and staff of Monash (through authcate) and
    •  the copyright warning notice appears before the image eg first slide of powerpoint or
  3. Teaching is already permitted by the explicit licence terms eg ‘free for education’ or
  4. You have written permission to use the image for teaching eg an email from the copyright owner
  5. You haven't removed a digital watermark or other electronic rights management information without permission from the copyright owner.

NOTE: Some images are online without permission of the copyright owner. If there are no citation details (especially name of photographer) this may show that the image is unauthorised. Any licence terms attached would not necessarily apply. Permission has to come from the legitimate copyright owner.

All images should be properly attributed. See Moral Rights.

See Using images in course materials or consult the Copyright Adviser for further advice or information.

You can use audiovisual materials in class where

  1. You haven’t agreed to terms of use that prevent use in teaching eg itunes state for personal use only and
  2. It is a TV, cable or radio broadcast that has been copied from the direct broadcast see Using AV in teaching or
  3. It is a legitimate copy you have purchased or obtained from the library or downloaded from a legitimate source ie no file sharing sites or
  4. It is on Youtube but put there by the copyright owner eg ABC, National Geographic, not just a fan or other user and
  5. The material from Youtube is streamed in class or embedded or linked to in Moodle rather than being downloaded, unless  specific permission for downloading is given by the copyright owner
  6. You haven't removed a digital watermark or other electronic rights management information without permission from the copyright owner.

You can copy audiovisual material for class where

  1. You haven’t agreed to terms of use that prevent your copying eg some audiovisual databases may require linking to their content only, not copying and
  2. You are not circumventing any technological protection measures in copying eg commercial DVDs are protected by CSS which is supposed to prevent copying, although it is easily bypassed. Using software that copies DVDs may breach these provisions. See FAQs 
  3. Use falls under the Using AV in teaching or
  4. Use falls within the licence terms from the copyright owner eg videos online state you can copy for educational purposes or
  5. You get permission from the copyright owner
  6. You haven't removed a digital watermark or other electronic rights management information without permission from the copyright owner.

NOTE: IT is preferable to stream or embed Youtube videos rather than copy because many of them do not allow downloading or copying.

Please contact the Copyright Adviser if you are unsure of the status of the material (whether it is legitimate or not).

All work used should be properly attributed, see Moral Rights. See the general information on Using audio or audio-visual content for educational purposes

Performers rights
There is separate copyright in performances. If you are recording a performance or being recorded as a performer, the performer has the right to refuse being recorded and has rights over the use of the recording. Performers also have the right to be credited as the performer in the recording. See Moral Rights.

More information is at Recording performances.

Please contact the Copyright Adviser if you are unsure of the status of the material.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a licence type that allows for more open use and reuse. There are six main licence types:

Creative Commons licence types: Attribution (CC BY); Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA); Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND); Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC); Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA); Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)

There are also licences used to indicate when copyright has expired (entered the public domain) or where the work has been dedicated to the public domain (Creative Commons Zero).

Image result for public domain creative commons      Image result for public domain creative commons     Image result for public domain creative commons

Attribution

All creative commons licences, (except the two public domain and the creative commons zero licence), require attribution of the creator and a link to the licence terms themselves. Best practice is

See 'How to attribute Creative Commons' for further information.

Non-commercial use may restrict use of the image on social media where there is advertising.

No derivatives means you are not permitted to alter the image. This may restrict your ability to crop or change the colour tone.

Share alike means you can only use or made the new work available under the same conditions as the creative commons material you want to use. For example if you copy a short film that is licensed under a creative commons non-commercial share-alike licence, you can only publish work including that film if you also licence the derivative work under a non-commercial share-alike licence.

NOTE: Anyone can take an image and put a creative commons licence on it. Consider whether it is likely that person making it available is actually the copyright owner. An ordinary user would not have the rights to popular film or TV images or cartoons.

Other useful licensed for education resources are at Copyright Free and Creative Commons resources.

Consult the Copyright Adviser for further advice.