Other materials

UNSW has a blanket music licence that allows staff and students to use music recordings for most purposes. Use of print music follows the same rules as text. Computer software is protected in a number of ways, as are games.

Music recordings

No licence or permission is needed to play music recordings in a classroom. Using music recordings as electronic course materials is likely also possible without licence or permission, as UNSW has a broad licence with APRA, AMCOS, PPCA and ARIA that allows staff and students to use music recordings for almost all educational purposes.

The following conditions apply:

  • The source recording must be a legitimate copy, not an infringing one;
  • The copying and/or communicating must be for educational purposes associated with a course of study or research; and
  • The copies can only be made available to UNSW staff and students.

As long as the source is legitimate, the music can be used. The music licence that UNSW has with the collecting societies can be viewed as a top-up licence. Even if you source your music from a platform that limits use to personal listening, such as iTunes or Spotify, UNSW's music licence can sit on top of the platform licence, allowing the music to be used for educational purposes.

Music recordings can be made available in a streaming format or in a downloadable format.

Print music

Print music can be copied and communicated in restricted volumes for the educational purposes of the university. Print music is treated the same as text under the Copyright Act 1968, limiting copying and communicating to 10% of a work that has been separately published.

If an entire work is needed to be copied and communicated as an electronic course material, licensing the material separately is the best option.

Computer programs

Copying and communicating computer programs for educational purposes is not explicitly permitted by the Copyright Act 1968.

While the code underlying computer programs is protected as literary work under the Act, the educational statutory licence for works does not apply to computer programs or to their underlying code. You will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner for any activities not covered by the licence conditions of the program.

In addition to the underlying code, many computer programs have text, graphics and design elements that are also protected by copyright.

UNSW only uses legitimately acquired software and complies with all accompanying licence conditions. If you are thinking of copying a program for your students, you need to check the licence conditions of the software to see if reproduction for teaching purposes is permitted.foutrea

In some circumstances, it may be possible to rely on section 200AB, also known as flexible dealing, to copy and communicate certain aspects of computer programs and software. If you have questions about relying on this provision, please contact your Outreach Librarian.


Games can be complicated bundles of copyright material. You cannot own copyright in game itself, but you can own copyright in many of the elements.

Here are some elements that may be subject to copyright, for example:

  • The written instructions;
  • The artwork; and
  • The underlying source code, for electronic or online games.

If you wish to copy and communicate a game for use as an electronic course material, or if you wish to create a game for use as an electronic course material, those are some issues to consider. The Library can assist with further guidance if needed.

A note about open online courses

The information above pertains to courses for UNSW students. For more information about materials you can use if you have students in your course that are not enrolled students of UNSW, see Open online courses.

Specific information about other electronic course materials:

See also:

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