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Commercialising and/or publishing teaching materials

As a staff member, you may consider that an educational resource you have developed for your teaching at TUA might be something that could be commercialised (sold) or shared online (e.g. an open access course, MOOC).

As the employer, TUA would generally own the copyright of any course teaching materials developed by employees, so you would first need to seek permission to develop these for any outside use - please refer to the Intellectual Property Policy.

Before you proceed further, you need to consider copyright ownership and moral rights aspects of using any third-party copyright material (i.e. materials not written or created by TUA staff). If the materials include items that were copied under the statutory education licence, you will not be able to rely on this licence for publication purposes. The licence is explained in section 3. Teaching support.

It is important to understand that material copied under the statutory licences for the educational purpose of the University may not be reproduced for any other purpose. You will have to obtain permission directly from the copyright owner to use it in a published version. So, for example, if you are developing your lecture notes into a textbook, and in your lecture notes you have used illustrations copied under the statutory licence, you cannot include those illustrations in the book, unless you obtain direct written permission from the copyright owner of the images.

In writing for permission, you should be very clear about exactly what you want, how you intend to use it, the nature and purpose of the new work you are creating, the size and nature of the intended audience, and how you intend to distribute it. If you consult the websites of major publishers, you will often find quite detailed guidelines on how to ask for permission, or even an online form. You need to allow plenty of time for the process – plan months in advance. If you do not receive a reply from the copyright owner, you still cannot use the material. You should retain the permissions on file in such a way that you could produce them if required.

For more information on moral rights, refer to Plagiarism and moral rights.

Info sheets

The Australian Copyright Council website provides information sheets that give further advice on seeking permissions and tracing copyright owners.