Copyright and Fair dealing

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Two important issues relating to ownership are copyright and fair dealing

Icon Objective.png

Objective Copyright and fair dealing

By the end of this page you will be able to:


Two aspects

  1. Copyright on your original material and
  2. Copyright on that material of others, including
    1. Those you have permission to use (maybe supplied by your client)
    2. Those you have included from other sources (e.g. the web)


The best way to avoid issues with copyright is to create your own original content.

Original material

  • Include (c) symbol and usage policy
  • When working with a client make sure your contract clearly identifies how ownership is to be handled (e.g. design, software (including the actual code), content)
Creative Commons
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Creative Commons Kiwi (CreativeCommons AotearoaNZ, 2011)[1]

For a training session on creative commons go to Creative Commons unplugged in WikiEducator

These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. At the forefront of the copyleft movement, there are six major ("Licenses - Creative Commons", n.d.)[2]:

  • Attribution (cc-by)
    • This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.
  • Attribution Share Alike (cc by-sa)
    • This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
  • Attribution No Derivatives (cc by-nd)
    • This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial (cc by-nc)
    • This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (cc by-nc-sa)
    • This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (cc by-nc-nd)
    • This license is the most restrictive, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Your own work (best practices)

  • CC0 waiver, all rights waived (Public domain) - The author of the work has dedicated it to the public by waiving all of his or her rights to the work under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
  • Own work, all rights released (Public Domain) - The copyright holder of this work, releases it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible, grant any entity the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.
  • Own work, copyleft, attribution required (CC-BY-SA-3.0) - freedom to reuse provided proper attribution is maintained and the requirement to distribute any modifications under the same, similar, or compatible terms.
  • Own work, attribution required (CC-BY 3.0) - allowing you the freedom to reuse provided proper attribution is maintained.

> Creative commons chooser

Further references : Creative Commons. (2010, September 14)[3]

Content from others

  • Ask permission.
  • Check use policies
  • Acknowledge the copyright holder (in academia this is often done through citing and referencing)
  • Put disclaimer (particularly in a web site where others can add content - e.g. wiki)
  • Check your site regularly for additions and remove unauthorised content, or provide a mechanism for user reporting.

Can I use that?

Copyright - A flow chart poster from a research project Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in the Digital Age by Dr Susan Ballard and Pam McKinlay, 2010 - Otago Polytechnic


Some issues

New Zealand Copyright

In April 2011 the New Zealand Government passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011. This act amends the Copyright Act 1994 to provide content owners (Rights holders) of copyrighted works such as movies, TV shows and music with a quicker and easier way to penalise people infringing their copyright (from illegal downloading). Under this legislation, from the 11th of August 2011 rights holders can begin to monitor for Internet access which breaches their copyright, and to begin sending infringement notices for breaches of copyright from the 1st of September 2011. This change affects all users of all systems at NZ institutions (and companies ), including staff, students, casual users, students in residential villages, business on campus using the institutions internet access, irrespective of location.

A successful infringement allegation can see the institution being fined up to $15,000.00 per infringement with the potential of having the internet connection being cut for up to six months for all users.

Some guidelines to understanding the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 can be found at the links below:

(based on an EIT all staff email)

Copyright attached to photographer
macaque monkey self portrait

Technically, in most cases, whoever makes the actual work gets the copyright. That is, if you hand your camera to a stranger to take your photo, technically that stranger holds the copyright on the photo, though no one ever enforces this. A story involving an award winning nature photographer, David Slater, who was in Indonesia in a national park. At some point, he left the camera unattended, and apparently a macaque monkey wandered over and took this hilarious self-portrait.

So here's the legal question: Who owns the copyright? Apart from the photo shown left, two other photos were submitted to and have a Carters copyright(see the reference). How has there been a legal transfer. The monkeys were unlikely to have sold or licensed the work. The assumption is that it's likely that the photographer, Slater, probably submitted the photos to the agency, and from a common sense view of things, that would make perfect sense. But from a letter-of-the-law view of things, Slater almost certainly does not hold the copyrights on those images, and has no legal right to then sell, license or assign them to Caters.

Fair dealing (fair use)

According to the Copyright Council of New Zealand (2006b)[8] “fair dealing” with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes:

  • research or private study;
  • criticism or review; or
  • reporting current events.


  • Fair Dealing – Information Sheet (Copyright Council of New Zealand, 2006b)[8]
  • Who decides what Fair Dealing covers? (Creative Freedom NZ, n.d.)[9]


Add comments here (use -~~~~~)

Icon References.png References

  1. CreativeCommons AotearoaNZ (2011) Creative Commons Kiwi. Retrieved from
  2. Licenses - Creative Commons (n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2010, from
  3. Creative Commons. (2010, September 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:41, September 17, 2010, from
  4. Copyright Act 1994 Public Act – New Zealand Legislation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2010, from
  5. Hofman,J. (2009)Introducing Copyright. A plain language guide to copyright in the 21st century. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from
  6. Copyright Council of New Zealand (2006a).Rationale - Why is copyright important?. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  7. Monkey Business: Can A Monkey License Its Copyrights To A News Agency? (2011) Retrieved from
  8. 8.0 8.1 Copyright Council of New Zealand (2006b). Fair Dealing – Information Sheet [PDF]. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  9. Creative Freedom NZ (n.d.).Who decides what Fair Dealing covers?. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from

Copyright and Fair dealing. (2017). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from    (zotero)