Copyright for Schools

Australian copyright is governed by the Copyright Act 1968. The Act sets out rights in creative productions including sound recordings, films, broadcasts and literary, musical, artistic and dramatic works. The Act also contains exemptions for use of copyright material, for example for study and research, and allows for licensing arrangements to facilitate access to materials by institutions such as schools.

QCEC is the contracting party on behalf of all Queensland Catholic schools for a number of copyright licences covering different media. These licences are set out below, along with the per student licence fees applicable.

Copyright Licences

Licence Agreements 2020 Licence Fees
Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)
Photocopying and digital copying of print material. Digital communication of same
Primary and Secondary FTE: $14.75
Recording and communicating broadcasts
Primary and Secondary FTE:
Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA)
Music, small performance.
Primary FTE: 24.58c
Secondary FTE: 35.74c
Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS)
Copying music scores in print and digital form.
Primary and Secondary FTE:
AMCOS/Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA)
Limited audio and video recording of music related to school performances.
Primary and Secondary FTE:

Additionally, the Schools Co-Curricular Licence allows for the screening of films in non-teaching contexts, such as rainy days or end of year break ups. This licence is charged according to size of school as set out below:

Number of students Annual fee per school
1 – 50 $50
51 – 200 $110
201 – 400 $140
401 – 600 $150
601 – 800 $160
801 and above $175

Copyright Resources

Copyright advice for schools is provided by the National Copyright Unit (NCU), a specialist copyright legal team. The NCU is based in Sydney and has primary responsibilities for negotiating copyright licences, preparing submissions to government and providing expert copyright advice to schools and TAFE colleges.

The following material has been prepared by the NCU to assist schools manage copyright.

The NCU also maintains the SMARTCOPYING website at This website provides extensive information and resources in relation to copyright and schools, including on the following topics:

Information Sheets


National Educational Access Licence for Schools (NEALS)

NEALS is an agreement between Australian education jurisdictions. Its intention is to allow schools to copy and communicate material for educational use from each other’s websites and publications free of charge.

Discover more about NEALS here.