Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Uncovering the rules for scanning book covers

Teachers scanning book covers

Teachers (inc teacher librarians) can scan book covers for use in digital presentations (including review blogs, slideshows and book trailers) under the Statutory Text and Artistic Works licence. These presentations must be for the educational purposes of the school, i.e. use in teaching, preparation for teaching, classroom/homework exercises, library resources to encourage reading and/or notify students of books available in library as well as professional development exercises.

These digital presentations can also be uploaded to a content repository (e.g. school intranet, learning management system, class wiki or blog) provided access is password protected and limited to teachers and students of the school.

A teacher cannot upload these digital presentations containing the scanned book covers to content repositories available to the public. If they wish to do this, they will need to seek the permission of the copyright owner (illustrator/s and/or publisher). This will involve contacting the copyright owner in writing and outlining exactly what you wish to do with the book cover, e.g. scan book cover to include in presentation that is placed online (state whether website, wiki and/or blog) and accessible to the public. The copyright owner will need to agree to allow the teacher to do this before the teacher can proceed.

See the Smartcopying website at:  for information on how to seek permission from copyright owners.

Students scanning book covers

Students can scan book covers to include in digital representations and upload these representations on a password protected repository as part of their classroom or homework under fair dealing for study and research. Students should attribute the copyright owner of the book cover (illustrator/s and/or publisher).

We need some more information on why the students would make these digital presentations available online to the public before determining whether fair dealing will apply to allow students to do this.

Can you please provide some examples of when students would want to make their presentations containing scanned book covers  available online to public so we can provide further advice.

For further information on fair dealing, see Smartcopying at:

Students designing their own book covers

There are no copyright issues arising from students designing their own book covers. Students own copyright in the original material they create.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further queries, please give me a call.


Sylvie Saab
National Copyright Officer, National Copyright Unit
Ministerial Council on Education, Early Childhood Development
and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA)
Level 5, 35 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

t: +61 (0)2 9561 8730   f: +61 (0)2 9561 1499

Thanks to Barbara Braxton for sharing this information.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips to scan books. This has been really helpful to me thank you.
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