7. I am a teacher and like to collect reading materials for my students. If I scan those materials and put them on my website for my students to download, will I infringe copyright? What if I put them on the school's Intranet accessible only to my students?
Under the existing law, placing copies of copyright materials on your own website without the licence or permission of copyright owners is infringement, even if it is for educational purposes. However, you can place them on the school's Intranet without infringing copyright by relying on section 41A of the Copyright Ordinance, which permits a teacher to place copies of copyright works on the school's Intranet for the purposes of teaching. But you should note the pre-condition for section 41A: namely, that your placing of copies of copyright works on the school's Intranet is fair dealing (see the discussions under "Fair Dealing" and the four factors). Generally speaking, those copies of copyright works placed on your school's Intranet should be reasonable and necessary for your teaching, and should not amount to a substitute for buying the original book or publication containing those works.
In addition, the exemption under section 41A is subject to two conditions:
- there are technological measures adopted to restrict access to the copies of copyright works on the school's Intranet to ensure that they are made available only to persons who need to use them for the purposes of teaching or learning; AND
- the copies are not stored in the Intranet for a period longer than is necessary or, in any event, longer than 12 consecutive months.
If either one of these conditions is not complied with, the exemption under section 41A will not apply, and you will infringe copyright unless you have obtained a licence from the copyright owners.