New copyright rules for school year 2021

Some steps you may need to take

School administrators, teachers and students are to be congratulated on navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19 during school year 2020, including the transition to remote learning during periods where students were encouraged or required to learn from home.

Special copyright arrangements that permitted many additional uses of remote learning technologies are coming to an end, and unfortunately many teaching practices that have been adopted during 2020 may infringe copyright laws from 1 January 2021.

This means there are new copyright rules in place for the 2021 school year.  An information sheet on these new rules is available here. These rules will remain in place until the Commonwealth Government implements some announced copyright changes, at which time updated information about permitted digital uses can be provided.  Please review the information sheet carefully.

Please note in particular that if your school made recordings of teachers reading stories for students under the special COVID-19 story time arrangements in 2020, these copies must be deleted no later than 7 days after the conclusion of Term 4 2020. Schools must check to ensure that all recordings are also removed from the school website or platforms such as Facebook or YouTube.

If your school needs to continue to use these recordings in 2021, please contact the National Copyright Unit (NCU) for advice on telephone: 02 7814 3855 or email:

Where can I get more information about using copyright content in schools?

Further information on copyright for Australian schools is provided by the NCU at

You can also contact the NCU directly for copyright queries related to your school.

The NCU also runs free copyright training for teachers. If you or someone in your school is interested in attending, registration details are available here.