Answered By: Corporate Communications
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2016     Views: 43

As a general rule the terms and conditions attached to commercial videos strictly prohibit copying or downloading.

Under the ‘fair dealing’ provisions of the Copyright Act it might be permissible to copy short excerpts ‘for the purpose of criticism or review’.

Educational institutions and libraries have a special provision in the Copyright Act that permits use of copyright material without seeking permission in certain circumstances (this is known as the s200AB or flexible dealing exception). Under this provision it might be permissible to:

a)      copy short excerpts from one or more commercial videos in order to compile an educational resource that is not otherwise commercially available.  

b)      convert an outdated format (e.g. VHS) into a more useful electronic format for teaching purposes.

The use must meet a number of conditions, for example the use must be a "special case" and should not conflict with "a normal exploitation of the material". Since the legal position regarding application of s200AB is somewhat uncertain, staff are advised to contact the Copyright Officer for advice before making copies.

Another issue to consider is whether the video is fitted with an access control Technological Protection Measure (TPM), e.g. encryption or password protection. The Copyright Act prohibits disabling or circumventing an access control TPM in most cases.

Curtin University Library.

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