Copyright for iLearn

Copyright for iLearn

What content can I upload to iLearn?

This information is for Macquarie teaching staff, learning designers and unit convenors.

Only certain material can be uploaded to iLearn. This is because of copyright and licensing restrictions. All teaching staff are responsible for copyright compliance on iLearn.

The following material can be uploaded to iLearn:

Macquarie University owned material

All learning and teaching material created by Macquarie staff is Macquarie owned material. This is because as an employee/contractor of the University, all learning and teaching material you create in the course of your employment with the University belongs to Macquarie as the copyright owner (unless otherwise stated).

Macquarie University owned original material must be clearly labelled with “Copyright Macquarie University”.

Your own original content

You may upload material to iLearn that you own copyright in, for example, your original work created outside of your employment with Macquarie University, that does not belong to another individual or institution. In this instance, by uploading the material to iLearn, it is taken that you grant Macquarie University permission to use your material on iLearn.

This material should be clearly attributed with your name and a statement that it is being used with permission. For example, “Used on iLearn with the direct permission of Thomas Jones”.

Please note that material you have authored that is published is likely to be subject to copyright and licensing restrictions. Before uploading this material to iLearn, you must refer to your publication agreement to determine whether you are able to use the published work on a learning management system for teaching purposes. If you are not able to do so and the material is part of the course readings, please contact the Library ( for further assistance.

Material used with permission (including student work)

For material that is not University owned or your own original work, the copyright owner must consent for the material to be used on iLearn.

In some cases, consent has already been given and you will not need to seek further permission from the copyright owner. This includes all material that is licensed under a Creative Commons licence or other licence that enables further copying and use for educational purposes. See below for further information on free for education material.

Where the material is not already licensed for educational use, you will need to seek permission directly from the copyright owner in order to upload this material to iLearn. This includes student work that is being used on iLearn by teaching staff, for example, as an exemplar work. Students own copyright in their work and their permission should be sought before a student work is used for teaching purposes on iLearn.

Obtaining permission from the copyright owner can be as simple as asking them to agree to the following statement by email “I grant Macquarie University permission to use “title” on Macquarie’s learning management system for Macquarie students only”. It is best practice to save and store these emails for future reference.

Free for Education Material

A copyright owner may decide that they want their material to be used for educational purposes. In this case, they will licence the material in a way that allows educational institutions to use the material without having to seek permission. Refer to the copyright statement or terms of use on a website to determine whether the material can be used for educational purposes. Some terms clearly state that the website can be used for “educational use” or “educational purposes”. Terms that allow “non-commercial use” or “organisational use” include educational use. However, if the website only permits “personal use”, the material is not licensed for educational purposes.

Material that can be used for educational purposes is sometimes referred to as ‘free for education material’. A lot of free for education materials allow teachers to modify and share the material for teaching and learning. In this case, the material is categorised as ‘open education resources’ also commonly referred to as ‘OER’.

The most common source of free for education material and OER is Creative Commons (CC) licensed material. A lot of Australian federal and state government material is available under a CC licence including material held in Australian museums, galleries and libraries. See OER Libguides for further information on OER.

For further information on CC, see the following fact sheets available on the CC website.

Public domain material

Public domain material are works where the period of copyright protection has expired. This means that anyone can copy the content without having to first obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Some people mistakenly believe that once a work is published or available for free from the Internet, it is in the ‘public domain’. This is not true. Publicly available Internet material, such as an online newspaper articles or images on Google or Flickr, are all protected by copyright.

Due to special licensing agreements, music and broadcast content can be uploaded to iLearn. However, the rules are different for commercial video and DVDs. For information on what can be uploaded and how it should be labelled see below:


Teaching staff can save digital sound recordings to iLearn for educational purposes. This is permitted under a national blanket licence with Australian music collecting societies. All copies must be from legitimate sources of music and must contain the following notice and information:


"This recording has been made by Macquarie University under the express terms of an educational licence between it, ARIA, AMCOS, APRA and PPCA and may only be used as authorised by Macquarie University pursuant to the terms of that licence"


  1. the title of each musical work;
  2. the name of each composer, lyricist and arranger of the musical work; and
  3. if the recording is an ARIA sound recording, the artist/group name and the record company label

Video and Broadcasts

Commercial film and video

Although you may show a movie or a documentary to your students during scheduled class time without asking for permission, copyright law does not permit uploading the video to iLearn or capturing a movie on Echo360. Here are some alternatives for providing video to students on iLearn.

Best practice is to search the Library’s video resources through MultiSearch before making any copies. A number of video platforms are available through the Library that enable access to commercial film and also broadcast content. This is an efficient and easy way to incorporate video content into your iLearn page.

If the video that you need to use is not available through the Library, you should see whether it is publicly available on the broadcaster’s website, their official YouTube channel or another website that is operated by the broadcaster or an official partner/provider/distributor. In this case, linking to or embedding the content is the most effective way to include the content on your iLearn page.

Free for Education materials. You can also use video that is licensed for educational purposes by the copyright owner.  Refer to the copyright statement or terms of use on a website to determine whether the material can be used for educational purposes. The most well known licences are Creative Commons (CC) licences.

Broadcasts. You may copy and upload the following content under a special statutory licence:

  • any off-air TV or radio broadcasts (free-to-air and pay TV channels); and
  • podcasts/webcasts of programs previously broadcast on a free-to-air channel.

It is important to note that the statutory licence does not cover:

  • podcasts/webcasts of programs previously broadcast on a pay TV channel; and
  • pirate copies of broadcast content.

Broadcast copies must be labelled with the name of the program, the broadcaster and the date that the copy was made. If the copy is a webcast or podcast of a previously broadcast program, the URL should also be included.

e.g. Copied under s 113P  of the Copyright Act 1968
'Foreign Correspondent', ABC, May 2014

e.g. Coped under s 113Pof the Copyright Act 1968
'Catalyst', ABC,, May 2014

Flexible dealing exception

If all else fails, and you cannot find the video material that you need for teaching through any of the methods suggested above, then you may be able to rely upon a section in the Copyright Act known as the Flexible Dealing exception. This section can be helpful when no other options are available but it is very technical, where the use depends upon certain tests. Please ask for further information from the Library’s Copyright staff.


All material uploaded to iLearn must be fully attributed. This includes stating the title of the work, name of the author and details of the publisher/website the work was taken from.

Material that is original Macquarie material can be saved to iLearn provided that it is clearly labelled with “Copyright Macquarie University”.

Where you have obtained direct permission from the copyright owner to use their material on iLearn, it is imperative that you label that material as being “used on iLearn with the direct permission of the copyright owner”.

If the work is Creative Commons, you are required to provide a link to the Creative Commons licence that the material is licensed under. For example, if you are uploading an image sourced from Flickr available under a Creative Commons licence, you would include the following attribution:
“A Summer’s Day” by Rani Lisbon available on Flickr under a CC BY 4.0

Unit Readings on iLearn

For text material that you do not have permission to use but wish to add as unit readings, such as book chapters and journal articles, please contact the Library's Unit Readings service. Complex and technical copyright requirements apply to this material which can be managed by Library staff.

Reading lists containing copyright content and licensed resources can be made available on the Library’s reading list management system, Leganto (and previously iShare). Once a reading list is created in Leganto, links to the readings can be provided from iLearn. For more information see Reserve & online unit readings.

Linking and Embedding

One practical way of using content without having to worry about copyright is by providing a link or embedding the content onto your page. Embedding means that the content appears on the iLearn page so the student isn’t required to leave iLearn in order to view the content. Many image and video hosting websites provide the option to embed the content onto your webpage.

Library Licensed Resources

Please note that you are not permitted to copy and upload material to iLearn that is available through the Library, i.e PDFs of licensed journal articles or books. The only way to include this material on your iLearn page is by providing a link. Making local copies of this content for use on iLearn is not permitted by licensing and copyright agreements that the University has in place. If you require assistance on how to link to library resources, please contact your Research Librarian.

CC by NC

Content owner: Library Last updated: 04 Apr 2020 11:56am

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