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KEMH Medical Library: Licensed Material Use and Copyright

A Guide to Library Licensed Material Use and Copyright

The information in this guide relates to the print and electronic resources accessed through the library.  It does not relate to use of the WNHS intranet, or WA Health website.  Copyright in relation to these websites can be found here and here respectively.

Your Legal Responsibilities

Licensed Material

Access to electronic resources (such as databases, eJournals and eBooks) purchased from academic and commercial publishers are subject to licence agreements.  These licence agreements take precedence over any copyright provisions that might also apply.

The licence agreements specify the terms and conditions governing how the material is to be used.  Whilst each licence agreement is different, there are some general rules that apply to most.  Library users are individually responsible for compliance with the following terms and conditions:

  • The library's electronic resources can be used by:
    • WNHS staff and WNHS students - either onsite or offsite
    • Other hospital users - onsite only
  • You can use the Library's licensed resources for teaching, research, and private study purposes only.  This includes:
    • Making and saving a digital copy of single articles or chapters.
    • Printing out copies of single articles or chapters
    • Sharing single articles or chapters with other authorised users.
  • You cannot use the Library's licensed resources:
    • For paid or unpaid work on behalf of an organisation other than WNHS
    • To supply material to non-authorised users
    • For commercial purposes (including but not limited to the sale of licensed resources)
  • You cannot use the Library's resources to download bulk or excessive amounts of material
  • The use of licensed resources must still comply with the Copyright Act 1968


For further information see Licences for Digital Resources by the Australian Copyright Council

All WNHS staff and students are expected to adhere to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

Authorised reproduction of material protected by copyright can occur in the following ways:

  • Under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, if the material is used for research and study
    • Hardcopy - a reasonable portion is generally considered to be no more than 10% of the number of pages, or 1 chapter
    • Electronic - no more than 10% of the number of words
    • Periodicals - one article per issue, or more than one article if they are of a related subject
  • When permission is granted by the copyright owner.  Ensure permission is obtained in writing and is kept as proof of authorisation to reproduce the material

More extensive reproduction may constitute fair dealing.  To determine whether it does, it is necessary to have regard to the criteria set out in subsection 40 (2) of the Act.

For more comprehensive information regarding copyright in Australia, go to the Australian Copyright Council webpage.


  Creative Commons Licences

Creative Commons Licences or CC Licences enable the sharing and reuse of creative content by individuals, institutions and companies. It gives people the right to make use of open access material on the Internet but only under certain conditions.

There are 6 different levels of CC Licences - click on the chart below for the permitted reuse provided by each type of CC Licence (CC BY Creative Commons Australia).



Not all CC Licences are compatible. See the following License Compatibility Chart

For more information see Creative Commons Australia

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