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Introduction to copyright at Standards New Zealand

All the documents we publish are protected by copyright. It is illegal to make copies of any Standards New Zealand documents, including those we publish jointly with Standards Australia, in whole or in part, without permission from us. No matter whether they were purchased in hard copy or electronic PDF, or accessed from your Online Library subscription or a network licence, all our formats are protected by copyright.

Infringing copyright has serious legal consequences. Under the Copyright Act 1994 a person who infringes copyright may be liable to a fine of up to $150,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

New Zealand Legislation: Copyright Act 1994(external link)

We consider requests to make copies on a case-by-case basis and may charge a fee for a copyright licence. You can make a request using our copyright enquiry form.

Copyright enquiry form

We support educational establishments that wish to use our copyright material. Refer to our policy for educational organisations for more information:

Policy on copyright for educational organisations [PDF, 357 KB]

An explanation of copyright

Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted to the creator of an original work. It includes the right to copy, distribute, and adapt the work, and to exercise control over copying by others.

Copyright exists in all documents published by Standards New Zealand. This means it is illegal to make copies of any Standards New Zealand documents, including those we publish jointly with Standards Australia, in whole or in part, unless you have permission from us. No matter whether they were purchased in hard copy or electronic PDF, or accessed from an Online Library subscription or a network licence, all our formats are protected by copyright.

Copyright in standards is important for a number of reasons:

  • it ensures the integrity of the information. Because people are not allowed to make copies or change the content without permission, this ensures confidence that the information is legitimate and reflects the robust process that experts have followed to produce the standard;
  • copyright allows the a publisher to sell copies, which helps Standards New Zealand recover the cost of developing and maintaining New Zealand standards and maintaining our international memberships. Because Standards New Zealand relies on the revenue from selling standards to continue developing new standards, it is important that the intellectual property is protected; and
  • it gives our international standards counterparts confidence that their information is respected. This allows Standards New Zealand to provide a greater range of standards options and partner with international standards bodies to create standards that encourage international uniformity.

Infringing copyright has serious legal consequences. Under the Copyright Act 1994 a person who infringes copyright may be liable to a fine of up to $150,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

New Zealand Legislation: Copyright Act 1994(external link)

It is possible to use material from a standard if a user has a copyright licence that specifically allows them to do this. Standards New Zealand consider requests on a case-by-case basis and may charge a fee for a copyright licence. For more information please see ‘How to apply for a copyright licence’ below.

How to apply for a copyright licence

If you wish to copy a document, or part of a document, you must obtain permission from Standards New Zealand. Content might include a page, paragraph, table, or figure, which you'd like to use in a new work, such as a publication or presentation. There may be a fee to do this, calculated according to a number of factors.

Please advise:

  • the reference number of the standard or other document you wish to copy from. If it is not a Standards New Zealand publication (prefixed by NZS), or is jointly published with Standards Australia (prefixed by AS/NZS), your request may need to be reviewed by an overseas counterpart;
  • which part(s) of the document you wish to copy;
  • what the document will be used for. The more detail, the better;
  • how many copies of the work will be made, or how many people the work will be distributed to;
  • the format of the work. For example, if it is electronic and/or intended for publication on a website, or in hard copy only; and
  • if there is a deadline associated with the request so we can respond in a timely manner.

We will consider your request then prepare a licence document that sets out the terms of the licence and provide wording to acknowledge the use of Standards New Zealand’s copyright.

Please complete our copyright enquiry form or write to Copyright, Standards New Zealand, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140.

Copyright enquiry form

Copying website content

Material on our website is protected by copyright owned by Standards New Zealand within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), on behalf of the Crown. Crown Copyright©.

Unless indicated otherwise, this website copyright material is licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

In essence, any user is free to copy, distribute and adapt the material, as long as you attribute it to Standards New Zealand and abide by the other terms of the licence.

Please note that this licence does not apply to any logos, emblems and trade marks on the Standards New Zealand website, or to the website’s design elements, or to any photography and imagery on the Standards New Zealand website. These items may not be re-used without express permission.

CC-BY 4.0 International license terms(external link)

Creative Commons License(external link) 

Exceptions - copyright of third parties(external link)

The permission to reproduce material on this website does not extend to any material that is identified as being protected by copyright owned by a third party. This includes material on websites which may be accessed via links from this site.  Standards New Zealand cannot grant permission to reproduce such material: permission should be obtained directly from the copyright owner(s).

Why standards are copyright protected

Standards New Zealand charges for access to standards in order to recover the cost of developing and maintaining New Zealand standards and to maintain the required international memberships. As Standards New Zealand relies on the revenue from selling these standards to continue developing new standards, protecting the copyright of our work is important.

Copyright, or the exclusive right to copy, exists for all documents published by Standards New Zealand. When a user purchases a Standards New Zealand document, in either electronic or hard-copy form, they are not entitled to make any further copies.

If a standard is copied without permission, this is breaching copyright, which may have serious legal consequences. Under the Copyright Act 1994 a person who infringes copyright may be liable to a fine of up to $150,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

New Zealand Legislation: Copyright Act 1994(external link)

However, you may use material from a standard if provided a copyright licence or permission from us that allows you to do this. See ‘How to apply for a copyright licence’ above for more information.

Why there is a watermark on standards

A 'watermark' appears in the background of each page of all electronic standards as a reminder that the content is the copyright of Standards New Zealand. Text on the inside margin of each page provides a short summary of the conditions of your purchase and use of the standard.

Linking to a standard

You may refer to a standard's name and number and include a link to the page on our website where the standard can be purchased.

Purchased standards may not be made publicly available

Standards New Zealand relies on the revenue from licensing the rights in these documents to continue developing new standards. The copyright in these standards is an asset and must be protected. Users therefore cannot freely make the standard available to others without express permission.

From time to time Standards New Zealand may enter into an arrangement with an organisation to allow access to a standard to be publicly available where that organisation covers the cost of sales. These will generally be available on the website as 'Sponsored standards'. This means a PDF copy of the standard will be available to the public, free of charge, with a licence number and description of who has sponsored access to the standard and why.

If a copy of a standard appears to be available online without a licence number, please let us know so we can follow. Email the Copyright Standards New Zealand team.

Only one hard copy may be printed

As stated in our terms and conditions, the purchaser may only print one hard copy from the PDF document for the user’s personal (or associated company's internal) purposes. Copying a standard without express permission breaches copyright, which has serious legal consequences.

Terms and conditions [PDF, 181 KB]

If you wish to copy part of a document, contact us to discuss a copyright licence. Generally, it is not possible to enter into copyright licensing agreements for multiple copies of entire standards in lieu of sales, as annual licensing fees are unlikely to be more cost-effective than purchasing multiple copies for ongoing use.

If you wish to make a copy of a standard, or part of a standard, please see 'How to apply for a copyright licence' above.

If multiple users require access to an electronic copy of a standard,  a Networkable PDF licence or Online Library subscription may be appropriate.

Networkable PDF

Online Library subscription

Copying sections of a standard

When a Standards New Zealand document is purchased, in either electronic or hard-copy form, the user is not entitled to make further copies unless the licence conditions specifically allow for this. However, students and teachers may copy a limited amount of content under strictly controlled circumstances.

Section 44 of the Copyright Act 1994 allows some copying for educational purposes. The amount and process of copying depends upon who does the copying (students, teachers, or the educational establishment itself) and how much of the copyrighted work they wish to use.

Section 44 of the Copyright Act 1994(external link)

We support educational establishments that wish to use our copyright material. Refer to our policy for educational organisations for more information:

Policy on copyright for educational organisations [PDF, 357 KB]

If in doubt, please check with us. Email the Copyright Standards New Zealand team.

Referring to the contents of a standard in a presentation

A standard may be referenced by name, and/or by parts or sections to direct readers to the correct location (for example, ‘NZS 1234:2019 Name, Part 1, page 2, clause 1.2.3’). Permission is not required for this. If you wish to copy or reproduce any content from a standard, please check with us first if this is fair use of the copyright in the work. Email the Copyright Standards New Zealand team.

What to do if the watermark obscures standards content

Please email details about the purchase (for example, your customer number, the standard, page number, and what's obscured) to the Standards New Zealand team. We will aim to correct the placement of the watermark as quickly as possible and provide a replacement PDF.

Using Standards New Zealand, ISO or IEC logos

Permission is required to use any of these logos. Any use of any national or international standards organisations’ logos is strictly controlled and very limited. Requests must be made in writing, including details of the purpose of use, placement, intended audience etc. Email the Standards New Zealand team.

Please note, as Standards New Zealand is a national standards body, not a testing or accrediting body, it is not appropriate to use our logo to illustrate accreditation or certification in meeting the technical requirements of a standard. Please contact the relevant accrediting or certifying body directly to ask if they have a mark appropriate for use.

Hardcopy, PDF, Network Licence and Online Library subscriptions

  • A hard copy is a printed version of a standard. These can be purchased from Standards New Zealand and the physical printed document will be sent to you.
  • A PDF is an electronic format of a standard. A PDF document can be purchased from Standards New Zealand and the file is made immediately available. This may then be downloaded to a computer and the purchaser is permitted to print one copy for personal use.
  • A Network Licence allows a purchaser to store a standard on their organisation's secure network for access by staff. A licensing fee is payable for this service based on the total number of people who need to access the standard.
  • An Online Library subscription lets users view a group, or catalogue, of standards online via the Standard New Zealand’s website for an annual subscription fee. An organisation can have its entire staff access the standards, but access is limited to a set number of concurrent users. Authorised users can print a temporary copy of a standard for their use.
  • Other access arrangements can be discussed, as they may fall within a copyright licence agreement.

Last updated: 20 January 2021