Copyright Licences

The ability to offer quality and diversity in teaching materials is essential to meeting student and tutor expectations within U3A.  The Network is concerned to ensure that U3As have the appropriate copyright Licences to enable them to copy printed material, and download and use audio and video/DVD material for use in U3A educational activities.

The Copyright Act 1968 has special provisions to enable educational institutions to copy and distribute materials when and where they need them. Under the provisions of our Licence agreements with the copyright agencies, our U3As are Educational Institutions.

To support U3As, the Network has arranged blanket licences for participating U3As  with the three  main copyright agencies:  Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) and the Audio-Visual Copyright Agency Ltd (Screenrights).  The specific coverage for these licences is described below.

It is strongly recommended that all U3As give serious consideration to join in the each of the Network blanket licences, depending on their reproduction and use of the works of authors, composers and filmmakers.  Without these licences, U3As and their tutors and presenters may infringe copyright, unless they obtain prior permission from all the relevant rightsholders in the program. [The practical impossibility of doing this led to the educational copying provisions being established in the first place.]  The penalties for copyright infringement  are quite severe and are subject to stringent enforcement
These licences are provided to U3A over a calendar year.  The fees for each licence are negotiated each year by the Network Treasurer. The rates are variable based on several factors, but by negotiating on behalf of all participating U3As, the rates are more cost effective for every participating U3A. .  The Treasurer will ask you to nominate what licences you wish to participate in, at the time of invoicing you for your annual membership fee.  The contribution your U3A pays will depend upon membership numbers. The licences are issued to U3A Network NSW Inc on behalf of its participating members, which are not separately listed on the licence: the Treasurer maintains records of which U3As participate in each licence.

What do the Licences  cover?

CAL (Copyright Agency Limited):  2010 Licence No. 5633 

If your classes  distribute or display photocopies or extracts on Powerpoint etc. from  text books or any other published material without seeking permission from the author, the tutor and your U3A will be infringing copyright and liable to penalties unless your U3A is covered by a the Network’s Statutory Educational Licence.

Some examples of material protected by copyright and used by U3As include
• Published works such as text books, journals, reports, research papers and newspaper articles
• Images such as photographs, illustrations and promotional backdrops.
There are limitations on the extent of copying, but under the Licence you may reproduce:
• 10% of the number of pages or one chapter of a book;
• All of an item in an anthology, up to 15 pages;
• One article from a journal or more than one article if they relate to the same subject matter;
• The whole of an artistic work if it illustrates or accompanies text or music copied, or if it can not be separately purchased;
• The whole of a work if that work cannot be obtained within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.
Copying in excess of these limitations requires the consent of the author or copyright holder.  Your U3A may be breaching copyright when you reproduce or distribute content without a licence to
• Photocopy educational material and reports for distribution to Tutors and/or members of U3A
• Making and distributing digital copies of material from books, journals, magazines or newspapers
• Forwarding or reproducing online articles found on a web external web site.
• Scanning a page or image from a newsletter, magazine or newspaper and making it available to tutors or U3A members.

CAL has a presentation, Copy It Right, which will explain everything to you.

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association Limited) 2010 Licence No. 01753907

APRA represents the creators (and copyright owners) of music across Australasia, and by agreement, most music creators around the world. An APRA licence covers: the public performance, broadcast or communication of music; the reproduction (copying) of music (whether sheet music or CDs) for retail, personal or business purposes; and the synchronization of music with film or video in an audio-visual recording.

It is recommended that U3As have an APRA licence to cover music performance, and copying and playing  DVDs and CDs.

Screenrights (Audio-Visual Copyright Agency Ltd): 2010 Licence dated 15th June 2010.

Screenrights provides an additional free service to licensees: a webite that inlcudes educational resources for audio-visual material at   The main features of the site include free downloadabele teachers/tutors notes for documentaries and feature films, and an educational IV email guide to which teachers/tutors can subscribe (free of cost). Note that the licenced educational institution is U3A Network NSW Inc, not your home U3A.

The Internet: there is a common misconception that material found on the Internet is copyright free. However, materials on web sites are protected by copyright, just as material published in other formats.

Acknowledgement policy:  all material used,  copied or  downloaded from any source for any U3A course, should acknowledge the author of that material, in the course materials, including the date upon which it has been copied.

Enquiries about the Network’s licences – contact the Treasurer (

General information is available from the Licencers websites.

CopyRight Agency Ltd (CAL)

Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA)

Audio-Visual Copyrights Agency (Screerrights)