Breaching Copyright

Unitec policies require you to ensure that you are not breaching any New Zealand laws. Any breaches that Unitec is informed of could lead to disciplinary action.

If you infringe copyright you may be exposed to legal action.  It is your responsibility as the person copying to ensure that you do not exceed your copyright entitlement. 



Copyright,  2011, by Maria Elena. (Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

General Information

As students and staff at Unitec, you must abide by the laws around Copyright as defined in the Copyright Act 1994 and all subsequent amendments.

When you access information from any database that Unitec subscribes to, you agree to their terms and conditions. This overwrites the entitlements from the Act. This means that your entitlements under the Act do not apply, only the terms and conditions of the database you are accessing.


What is Copyright?

Copyright refers to the rights of an author or creator and is automatically given to control the copying, distribution and adaptation of their work. It also spells out your entitlements as users of copyright works.

The following works are covered:

  • literary works including text like emails, training manuals, novels and song lyrics; tables and compilations including multimedia works, and computer programs
  • dramatic works including dance, mime and film scenarios or scripts
  • musical works including the score and sheet music
  • artistic works including paintings, drawings, diagrams, maps, models, photographs and sculptures
  • sound recordings separate to the actual music or story
  • films for any genre or format, separate from the underlying script, music or broadcast
  • communication works including radio and television broadcasts and internet webcasts
  • typographical arrangements of published editions covering the layout of the edition derived from a complete or partial literary, dramatic or musical work.


How Long Does Copyright last?

Copyright last for 50 years from the end of the year of the death of the author.

If the author is a corporate body/organisation (eg World Health Organization), then copyright lasts 100 years from the date of creation.

Copyright does not have to be registered and the copyright symbol does not have to appear on a work for it to be protected.


You must acknowledge where your material comes from.  (Copyright Act 1994)

You should include in any acknowledgment the elements below. Please check your referencing style for examples of other materials.

For an Edited Book Chapter

For a Journal Article

For a Website

Author(s) of chapter

Author(s) of article

Author(s) of the page

Chapter title

Article title

Title of webpage

Editor(s) of the book

Name of the journal

Publication date

Book title

Year of publication


Year of publication






Place of publication

Pages of the article





Pages of the chapter