Meet a copyright savvy school

How copyright licences are helping Taupaki School’s teachers

Taupaki School Principal Stephen Lethbridge is talking enthusiastically about intellectual property (IP). He’s talking about a make-club project his students have been working on – interactive rubbish bins...

Lethbridge is a self-confessed tech-junkie. He loves innovation and he’s a big proponent of making sure his students and teaching staff understand the ins and outs of IP including how to consume and share content legally and how to protect their own rights in original works. Lethbridge says that copyright licences are an essential tool that help his teaching staff access content to share with students, legally.

It’s not just talk: each year Taupaki takes up a CLNZ licence for print material, a OneMusic licence for music and a Screenrights licence for television and radio content.

Books, newspapers, journals, music, television and radio are key resources for most schools. While the Copyright Act provides an exception for copying for educational purposes, unlicensed schools are bound by narrow limits in terms of what they are able to copy and share with students. A school that doesn’t have a CLNZ print licence, for example, is only able to copy three percent or three pages of a book (whichever is less). A school that does have a CLNZ licence, however, is able to copy one whole chapter or up to ten percent of a book. And this can make a real, practical difference to a teacher in the classroom.

It’s a Friday morning when Copy. Write. visits Taupaki school. Lethbridge’s colleague, year 7 and 8 teacher JJ Purton Jones is in her classroom. It’s a bright, busy environment. Students on laptops are working on an inquiry topic, Purton Jones is at the front of the room, talking with students one-on-one as they require help. When we ask about her use of copyright materials in the classroom, she points out that there are some simple things that busy teachers might not give much thought to but wouldn’t be able to do legally at an unlicensed school.

“When I run poetry workshops with my class, I make copies of different types of poems and I share these with the students. The example poems help them understand different types of poetry and inspire them to write their own work.”

Without the school’s CLNZ print licence, at best, Purton Jones would be limited to providing her class up to half of each poem only.

School performances are also made easier thanks to Taupaki’s OneMusic licence. When students perform or play music during assemblies or in public this licence means they can do so, without the drama of seeking permission.

Purton Jones continues: “I also use the TVNZ archives and eTV a lot with my class – often for inspiration at the start of an inquiry topic.” Because the school is licensed with Screenrights, JJ can save programmes onto her school device to share with her class.

Nodding, Lethbridge says for his school licensing is an obvious decision:
“we can access far more material – across a broad spectrum of media – and use it knowing we’re doing things legally. The licences give our teachers more freedom to be creative and we can also encourage our students to respect creativity, knowing that we’re doing the same.”

He brings us back to the rubbish bins and make club: “We want our students to think about their own creative ownership and IP too. We aim to embed intellectual property education into our everyday teaching practice and having the correct licences is an important part of that.”

What happens to schools’ licensing fees?
Licensing helps the owners of creative content earn a living from their work. The income received from licence fees is paid to the owners of the creative works that licensed schools use in their classrooms.

Licences were due on 1 July: find out what licences your school needs at

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