Before using any copyright work that belongs to a third party, you should always get copyright owner’s permission. This way, you can avoid the risk of copyright infringement.
Infringement occurs when you have not obtained the consent of the copyright owner to do something that only the copyright owner has the right to do. For example, making a photocopy of a textbook without the consent of the publisher.
To obtain consent from copyright owners, you may:
contact the copyright owner directly and negotiate for a licence to use the copyright material; or
obtain a licence through a Collective Management Organisations.
Alternatively, you may use the materials found on Creative Commons (CC) without the need to further seek explicit permission from the owner, so long as the use conforms to the licence attributes.
Using or Copying Materials from the Internet
Do not assume that whatever is posted on the internet is fair game for copying.
Before you copy or use any material available on the internet, always check if the website has terms and conditions governing use of content on the website. A link to the terms and conditions can usually be found at the foot of the homepage. Else, try to identify the website owner and write to them for permission.
When Permission to Use Copyright Work Is Not Required
There are exceptions to copyright protection which provides limited circumstances where you can use copyright works without seeking permission from the copyright owner. These exceptions are set out for the use of works for specific users (eg. school and libraries etc.) or for specific reasons (eg. research and reporting of current events).
General Fair Dealing
There are some factors (non-exhaustive) that are taken into account when deciding whether copying in a certain situation is a ‘fair-dealing’:
The purpose and nature of the dealing, including whether such dealing is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes
The nature of the work
The amount and significance of the work copied, in relation to the whole ;
The effect of the dealing upon the potential or value of the work
The possibility of obtaining the work within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price
If you copy works for a specific purpose of research and study, it is considered fair dealing so long copying limits are observed. For a published work of at least 10 pages, the copying limit is 10% of the total number of or one chapter of the work, whichever is greater.
Specific Fair Dealing Defences
There are also specific fair dealing scenarios where use of a work would not constitute infringement:
Fair dealing for purpose of criticism or review
Where the work is used for the purpose of criticism or review, of that work or another work, and is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement of the work
Fair dealing for purpose of reporting current events
Where the work is used for the purpose of reporting current events in newspapers, magazines or periodicals and is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement of the work.
If you are from an educational institution, you can make copies of, or to communicate a copyright work within certain limits for educational purposes. The copying or communication of works is certain record keeping requirements and the requirement to pay equitable remuneration.