To deliver quality educational outcomes, RTOs want to be able to quickly access and use information from a wide variety of sources including textbooks, websites, newspapers and journals. However, more often than not, there is uncertainty around what can and can’t be used and this uncertainty can leave you exposed.

Are you 100% sure you are copyright compliant? How do you know what materials teachers are using in any classroom on any given day? What about casual teachers who may come in for a short period of time?
If any teacher copies third party material and distributes it for educational purposes without prior permission, the owner of the institution may be potentially breaching copyright legislation.
By providing access to the educational statutory licence, the Copyright Act 1968 aims to balance the copying needs of educational institutions with the rights of authors and other creators. The educational statutory licence allows institutions to make copies of copyright works for educational purposes. A licence fee is collected by Copyright Agency on behalf of the authors and creators.
If your RTO does not have a statutory licence, no reproduction of any third party material from any source is allowable unless there is an exemption to copyright, a direct licence/subscription in place or permission has been granted from the creator of the work.

Copyright Agency can help
Copyright Agency has been appointed by the Australian government to manage collective licence schemes for fair payment for educational use of text and images.
Copyright applies to the following:

  • text (e.g. in books, journal articles, reports, web pages)

  • images (e.g. photographs, artistic works, graphs)

  • video and moving images (e.g. films, videos, television commercials, podcasts)

  • audio recordings (e.g. music recordings, radio programs, podcasts)

  • computer programs

Content available from the internet is also usually subject to copyright. In most cases you need permission to use it, unless the copyright owner has given upfront permission (such as a Creative Commons licence) or your use is covered by a special copyright exception.

Securing a licence and peace of mind
By securing a licence from Copyright Agency, you can copy and share an enormous range of resources and be assured that a fair payment is made to the creators of the content. At the same time, your organisation will be copyright compliant.

To enquire about licences, call 1800 066 844 toll free or email You can also call or email Copyright Agency’s Sue Attar directly on 02 9394 7644 or

Further information 

  • Essential guide to copyright for independent colleges and RTOs

  • FAQs for independent colleges and RTOs

  • Guidelines for schools, TAFEs and independent educational institutions