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The Library: Copyright

An introduction to the Libraries at Wintec.

How does it affect me as a student?

There are several different sections of the Copyright Act which may be relevant to your situation -

  • You own the copyright to material you create as a student. This won't apply if you have been commissioned, or funded, by an external agent to create the work.

  • Under Fair Dealing provisions, you can copy an insubstantial part of a work. What is considered substantial depends on the material you are copying, e.g. you couldn't copy a small, but unique part of a poem.  For more information about Fair Dealing, see the Copyright Council of New Zealand handout.

  • As a student you can use some media within certain circumstances; as an example, you can make a handwritten copy of a literary work for educational purposes.  For more information about what you can copy for educational purposes, see the Copyright Council of New Zealand handout.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

What can I do?

Wintec students for the purposes of research or private study may do the following:

  • Copy from Books

    Up to one chapter or 10%, whichever is greater (even if the majority of it is pictures). You CANNOT copy the whole book.

  • Copy from Journals/Magazines

    One article per issue

  • Copy from Newspapers

    One article per issue

  • Copy from Theses

    Copyright is owned by the Thesis author. You need to obtain permission before copying.

  • Videos, DVDs & Music

    Section 43 of the Copyright Act permits "Fair Dealing" for research or private study.

    For study purposes you may use 30 seconds of a commercial video, as long as you don't alter it.

    Note you can't share electronically with another person or make multiple copies.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

What about file sharing?

You cannot upload, or download, material from the Internet using an application or network that enables sharing of material between multiple users.  For more information about file sharing, see the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011, or the Copyright Council of New Zealand handout.

Can I copy from the Internet?

Unless it is stated otherwise, you should assume that all material on the Internet is protected by copyright law.  However, if the material displays a Creative Commons, or other license (e.g. royalty free), then you can use the material within the conditions specified by that license. Remember to acknowledge the source.

Items in the public domain

 “Public domain” refers to material in which all copyright has expired. You will be able to use the material, but must always acknowledge the source. To find out what the public domain is, check out this guide.


At all times, whenever you are using the ideas of others, you must acknowledge the source. Attributing, or acknowledging the source of the information, is achieved by using APA referencing.

If you don't do this, it is considered to be plagiarism.  Plagiarism from print or online material is unacceptable at Wintec and will result in penalties or disciplinary action.  Tutors in your School may use the plagiarism software Turnitin to check referencing and plagiarism.

What can't I do?

  • You can't provide a digital copy of your article to your tutor.
  • Copy an interloaned article and pass it on to other people.

Further information

For more information, please refer to the links below, or seek legal advice.

Contact Us

City Campus
(07) 834 8866
(07) 834 8800 ext 4452