Frequently Asked Questions

We know that copyright can be a lot to get your head around. To help, we've answered some of our most frequently asked questions below.

What is copyright?

Copyright is the legal right of creative people to say how their work can be used and shared.

Anyone who wants to copy and share copyright material, even if it’s for educational purposes, must have the copyright owner’s permission.

Why does my school need a copyright licence?

Print:  If your teaching materials include copying content from books, journals, magazines or newspapers, it’s likely your school requires a print licence. By holding a print licence,  you have advance permission to copy from the work. It also sets a good example for your staff and students that demonstrates your school respects other people’s creativity and their work.

The licence significantly reduces the legal risk of non-compliance. It also sets a good example for your staff and students that demonstrates your school respects other people’s creativity and their work.

Music: While the Copyright Act allows for certain uses of music when used in the course of education, often schools want to use music in ways that fall outside of these allowances. The OneMusic Schools Licence ‘tops up’ the rights provided to schools under the Copyright Act, allowing schools to make the most of music.

Audio-visual: If your school uses audio-visual material in teaching, it is likely that you will need a Screenrights licence to permit you to do so legally. A Screenrights Educational Licence permits the copying and communication of audio-visual material under the Copyright Act. The licence allows copying from broadcast television and radio, and material made available legally on the internet for use in education, including material available through educational resource centres ETV and ClickView.

What are the benefits of my school having a copyright licence?

Print:  A print licence provides comprehensive permission to copy and share printed material sourced from books, textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers and periodicals. The licence allows copying far beyond what is permitted under the Copyright Act.

For around the cost of one new book per classroom, your school can maximise your existing print resources and enable your teachers to enjoy worry-free copying for students.

Music: Under the Copyright Act, schools can perform and play music in the course of its activities but only to an audience of students or staff. Any other audience, including parents, makes the performance a public performance and requires a licence. The OneMusic Schools Licence gives schools the freedom to perform music at concerts, fundraising and social events, make recordings of performances for students and their families, create and copy digital music files for use in lessons, stream events from the school website, and extends photocopying allowances for sheet music.

Audio-visual: A Screenrights Educational Licence grants educators the freedom to use tv programmes, films and material from the internet legally in education for a low annual fee. The fees collected are distributed to the owners of the works used to help support the creation of new material for education. With a Screenrights licence, you can access to tens of thousands of programmes and films curated for educational use by online resource centres such as ETV and ClickView, copyright cleared. Use material in class or in remote learning, link it in documents and LMS, share it with staff and students.

What about school data collection?

We work with schools to record information about the works that are being copied under licence. This is how the owners of those works can be paid their portion of the licensing fees. This is also known as a “data collection” or “survey”.

If, during a data collection or at any other time, copyright infringement is identified in a school, the licensing agencies may work with the school to increase staff understanding of what legal copying in schools looks like.

If a school refuses to engage in professional development for staff, or if the infringement is blatant, the licensing agencies can take steps on behalf of copyright owners to seek redress for copyright infringement. Rightsholders may also investigate breaches in copyright, which could result in legal action from time to time.

Often infringements are settled without court action. Damages for infringement, if proven, can be very significant and would be far more than licence fees without even taking into account the legal costs and reputational damage.

How is the Copyright Act enforced in schools?

School teaching staff and boards of trustees have important legal responsibilities. Whether it’s health and safety legislation, the Privacy Act, or the Copyright Act, teaching professionals are required to comply with New Zealand laws.

Copyright licences extend the small amount of copying permitted under the Copyright Act, allowing more legal copying in accordance with the licence’s simple terms, and provide access to resources to help teachers understand what they can and can’t copy.

If the licensing agencies become aware of copying practices in schools that do not comply with the Copyright Act, they can take action on behalf of the copyright owners they represent. If schools are using print, music or audio-visual material in class, they need the appropriate licence to do so.

If we only use YouTube in the classroom, do we need a copyright licence?

Music: If the videos are being played as a part of the course of school activities, exclusively to an audience of students and staff this use is covered under the Copyright Act, and a licence for the music included in YouTube videos is not required. If the videos are played as a part of an after-school programme, or if there are members of the public present (including parents), a licence is required.

Audio-visual: Some material available on YouTube may be used, however you cannot always be sure of its authenticity or whether the material has been made available legally. With a Screenrights licence, you are granted the freedom to use online video platforms including YouTube as well as material from tv and radio. Advertising and the comments left by other people on YouTube and other online video platforms can be undesirable in educational settings, the Screenrights licence supports access to tens of thousands of curated videos for education, copyright cleared and ad-free, when you subscribe to online educational resource centres ETV or ClickView.

If we only use Spotify in the classroom, do we need to get a copyright licence?

Music: If a music streaming service is played in the classroom as a part of the course of school activities, exclusively to an audience of students and staff, this use is covered under the Copyright Act, and a music licence is not required. It’s worth noting that music streaming services are generally only licensed for personal use, so any use of the service by schools is likely to be in contravention of the terms and conditions of the service.

Does our school's copyright licence cover the PTA having a fundraising movie night?

Music:  Playing or performing music to an audience other than students and staff (including playing music included in movies), requires a licence. Once you have permission to perform the movie from Roadshow, a OneMusic licence will cover you for the music included in the movie.

Audio-visual: The Screenrights licence grants licensed schools permission to use audio-visual material for educational purposes. If you wish to use a film for non-educational purposes such as a movie night, you may be able do so by seeking permission from Roadshow Public Performance Licensing.

My school only uses scanned digital content, do we need a print licence?

In short, yes you do need a print licence. Your licence includes material that was scanned from a printed source and made available to students via email or a local school intranet. It also includes digital-only news media material sourced from popular news websites—this content may only be free for single, personal use.

How do you know what is being copied in schools?

PrintAs part of our licence agreement with your school, we may ask you to take part in a data collection process. This is generally done over a four week period, and staff are asked to keep a record of everything they copy and share with students. We use the information collected from your school and other schools taking part, and process it in order to identify and remunerate the clever people that created the work you have copied.

Music: We collect sample data from schools regarding the music they use. To assist in our distribution process we may request information from you regarding the music used in your school. You can also contact us directly if your school would like to participate in our distribution sample.

Audio-visual: Screenrights collects data from online resource centres for the use of audio visual material in schools. This data is used to determine the amount of remuneration payable to rights holders for the use of their works. The money paid to creators of the material you use can in turn be used to create more great educational content.

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