VirtualMV/Internet and Web/Copyright and Fairdealing/Content

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

  • Understand Copyright and Fairdealing issues


are exclusive rights given to owners for their creations. (Copyright 2009). It protects compilations of data and multimedia works, films being the moving images on a video or DVD.

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)

Original material

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

  • 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)

Owners of films have the exclusive right to:

  • Copy their material
  • Issue copies for the public for the first time
  • Rent copies to the public
  • Play or show their material in public
  • Communicate their material to the public.

Although this is not a requirement, it clearly identifies your material by using the symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the first year of publication i.e. ©Raihania 2011.

Copyright in New Zealand lasts for the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years from the end of the year of when the author died.

Performers have some limited rights to control the recording and live transmission of their performances. It is advisable to have a Talent Release Form completed by your actors to clarify copyright issues with the commissioner.

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

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)

Case studies

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.


Creative Commons (Copyleft)

Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.

Creative Commons Kiwi (CreativeCommons AotearoaNZ, 2011)[5]

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.)[6]:

  • 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 resources

Fair dealing (fair use)

is another exception to the rule of permission but only for:

  • Research or private study. No more than one copy is permitted on any one occasion. The user must detemine that copying of such material is for research or study and that it is fair.
  • Criticism or review. This generally means that the author and the title of their work is acknowledged.
  • Reporting current events. Sufficient acknowledgment is given unless reporting is done by sound recording, film, broadcasting or cable programme.

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 has been an important part of Copyright Law for over 150 years, even the Copyright Law does not specify how to apply fair use. There are four types of considerations when evoking fair use:

  • the nature of the use
  • the nature of the work used
  • the extent of the use
  • its economic effect.

For video: Video makers have the right to use as much of the original work as they need to in order to put it under some kind of scrutiny. Comment and critique are at the very core of the fair use doctrine as a safeguard for freedom of expression. So long as the maker analyzes, comments on, or responds to the work itself, the means may vary. Commentary may be explicit (as might be achieved, for example, by the addition of narration) or implicit (accomplished by means of recasting or recontextualizing the original). (Center 2011).


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

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