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A tutor’s introduction to copyright and Statutory Education Licences

18th October 2023

By Mohan Dhall, ATA CEO

All educators must understand their obligations with respect to the moral rights of people who create materials that are used when educating . Copyright is a reference to the legal protection of moral rights arising from the creation of work by authors. In Australia, legal protection of moral rights occurs through the use of Statutory Education Licences (SEL).

Tutors who use materials created by others should understand the law as it relates to copyright. The Australian Tutoring Association (ATA), as the national peak body for tutors, strongly recommends that tutors read the information provided below so that they can be informed about their legal duties. The information comes from the Copyright Agency Limited.

After reading the information, consider the practices undertaken by yourself, and within any centres where you may work. Tutors as educators are role models of practice. It is therefore incumbent on them to not only do the right thing with respect to copyright, but also to be seen to do the right thing. Students, their families, and the broader society would expect this of ethical providers operating in the private tutoring space.

For more information you may wish to visit the Copyright Agency here

Copyright and Statutory Education Licenses

Most material is covered by copyright. If you copy and share text, tables, graphs or images that were created by others, you’ll usually need permission from the copyright owner to do so – even if you use less than 10%.

The Statutory Education Licence provides educators with the flexibility to easily copy and share course materials, while minimising the risk of infringing copyright. Better still, your licence fees are distributed to creators and copyright owners, helping to sustain a strong Australian creative sector.

The Licence allows educators to immediately use text and images from any source in the world, giving you the freedom and flexibility to provide students with much broader and up-to-date content, supplementing any course materials you may currently be purchasing from a third-party supplier.

It can take a lot of time, energy and resources to source and produce course material from scratch. The Licence is a resource for Australian educational institutions to assist in broadening the scope of content that you can provide to your students, including images such as photos, graphs and maps as well as text.

The Licence is also a blanket solution which covers your entire institution. You will gain maximum value from the Licence by ensuring that all staff are aware of the rights they have to distribute new, interesting and current material to their students that they weren’t permitted to do before.

Copying and sharing quality content from diverse sources is essential to achieve the best possible educational outcomes for students.

The use of text and images from books, research papers, newspaper and journal articles, websites and blogs for educational purposes needs to be covered by an appropriate copyright licence – the Statutory Education Licence – otherwise the educational institution could be at risk of infringing someone’s copyright and breaching the Copyright Act 1968.

We have licensing agreements with more than 1,000 other eligible education providers, including higher education providers, RTOs, tutoring organisations, training arms, professional associations, community & specialist colleges and early childhood education providers.


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