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Copyright for teaching staff.

Various licences can help you to use printed and electronic copyright material safely in support of teaching and learning. Gain an overview of how best to use electronic resources and links in your Blackboard module, and how to go about obtaining permission to use sources that are not covered by the law or by licence.

Please see our guide for updated information on this issue

Copying from printed books and journals: the CLA Licence

There may be occasions when you wish to make multiple copies of book chapters and journal articles, for example, to give out to students in class, or to incorporate in study packs. In order to enable you to do this without infringing copyright, the University subscribes to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence for Photocopying and Scanning. The current licence (2008-2011) permits the making of:

  • Multiple photocopies of limited extracts from printed sources covered by the licence (paper-to-paper);
  • Digital copies of limited extracts scanned from printed sources covered by the licence that may be stored in a course repository (e.g. Blackboard), downloaded and printed out (paper-to digital-to-paper) It should be noted that this covers only the scanning of print originals, not downloading, storing, printing or distributing from “born digital” sources.

In all cases, copies may only be made from material licensed by the CLA, and the licence has strict limits on the quantity and type of material which may be copied. See the section on the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence (Photocopying and Scanning books and journals) for more information.

Photocopies in the Short Loan collection

Photocopies of material may be held in short loan if one of the following conditions applies:

  • The University (not necessarily the library) owns the original printed work. This includes copies from items purchased by faculties and departments but does not include copies made from publications owned privately by academic staff, or copies obtained by them from other institutions.
  • the copy has been obtained copyright-fee paid from the British Library or similar (with original cover sheet attached). This does not include photocopies obtained on inter-library loan for research or private study.
  • there is written permission from the copyright holder for such copying and a copy of the document granting such permission is retained and can be produced on request.

Students may copy from these copies for their own use under the "fair dealing" exception. However, systematic copying from short loan photocopies by all students on a course is not permitted and is in breach of both the licence and the legislation. Lecturers wishing all members of their module group to have their own copy of a particular item are advised to provide these direct to the students under the terms of the CLA licence, which covers multiple copying, as outlined above.

It is not permitted to hold in Short Loan “accessible” copies of materials for visually impaired students.

Copying from newspapers: the NLA licence

The Newspaper Licensing Agency Agreement gives permission for the copying and distribution of newspaper cuttings to students for educational and instruction purposes. The maximum number of copies which may be made of any one cutting from any one newspaper is 250 unless prior consent has been obtained from the NLA. The licence covers only copying (including scanning) from PRINTED newspapers; it does not permit downloading or printing from electronic versions; these are covered by separate agreements which may vary from title to title.

Copyright and Blackboard

When developing your Blackboard module, you will probably wish to include or link to resources from a number of different sources. Copyright applies to all intellectual outputs, regardless of source or medium, so, unless the material is something which is your own original work, you will need to ensure that what you wish to include is covered by specific permission from the copyright owner, by the licence governing the particular resource, or by one of the generic licences held by the University.

The range of materials which you may wish to use in your Blackboard module and to which copyright may apply is very broad, and includes:

  • text (inc. emails);
  • images (drawings, diagrams, logos, animations etc.);
  • tables of data;
  • video files;
  • sound files; and
  • compilations of links, frequently asked questions etc.

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Photocopying and Scanning Licence will allow you to include digital extracts from many books and journals. Note that the licence is subject to strict conditions. See Digitising materials for use in Blackboard for more guidance.

You can use URLs to link to electronic and web-based resources but should not cut and paste information into your site from another site without permission from the copyright holder. As a rule of thumb in Blackboard if you wish to reference to another website, cite the site adding the full URL and ensure that the hyperlink ‘Opens in a new window’, you can set this when you add the URL link in Blackboard as an ‘External Link’. Refer to the section on Copyright and the internet for guidance.

Note that our current ERA licence does not allow extracts from off-air recordings (audio or video) to be used in Blackboard even though it is password-protected, since it is accessible off-campus.

See Copying of artistic works for more information on the use of images, photographs and logos.

Unless you are confident that what you want to do is covered by one of the University’s licensing agreements, you should not:

  • incorporate or distribute copyright materials obtained from elsewhere without permission of the rights owner, e.g. by scanning in diagrams, articles, logos, images, or cutting and pasting from Web sites or other electronic databases;
  • post material from books, journals or periodicals on the Internet or to bulletin boards and newsgroups without the prior written consent of the copyright owner;
  • print out, download or cut and paste from electronic journals and databases beyond the terms of the licence for that resource;
  • digitise print-based materials without permission.

Always give appropriate acknowledgement for what you use, and if in doubt, seek permission.

Seeking and administering permissions

The Library is always happy to provide assistance with seeking copyright permissions, but if you choose to do this yourself, you should follow the guidelines below.

It is important to provide clarity for a copyright owner when seeking permission to copy. A lack of clarity will involve the recipient in additional work or uncertainty over their permission. This may well lead to a refusal (or lack of response). Make every effort to present information clearly so that owners are encouraged to co-operate.

To make the communication as effective and speedy as possible you should include:

  • Your contact information address, telephone and e-mail;
  • (For web-based content) the URL of the page in question or description of the content together with other identifying information such as titles or banners;
  • The intended use;
  • A description of the materials you wish to use;
  • The audience, e.g. registered students, external course;
  • The environment, e.g. classroom, open learning;
  • The number of copies and over what period;
  • If the use will generate an income; e.g. a commercial course;
  • Method of storage e.g. electronic or as a paper copy;
  • Method of distribution, a handout, information located on a web site.

Permission can only be granted by the copyright “owner”, who may not be the point of contact on the web. Request them to respond with the name of the copyright owner if not. It is best not to ask for the details of your request to be passed to the copyright owner direct. If you do this you may well lose trace of where the request is and who is responsible. Chasing a failure to respond could become very difficult.

Ensure that if you get clearance to copy that you have permission in writing and that it specifically refers to your declared proposed use or contains a set of conditions. A reassurance on the telephone is not sufficient. Keep the permission in a safe place so that you can refer to it if challenged. Include a statement on the copyright position of materials associated with the material itself either on the web site or on paper copies to show that you have permission.

Be aware that the “owner” of the site that you wish to copy from does not own all the material on it. They may have embedded pictures into text that they have produced. They may own the text and the rights to use the picture quite properly from another source. That does not mean that they have the right to allow you to reuse the picture.

Implications to Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing when creating digital content

The Strategic Content Alliance has developed an IPR and Licensing module to introduce the concepts of copyright and other Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The module will help with dealing with rights and licensing issues associated with creation of digital content.