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Digitising material for use in Blackboard.

The Copyright Licensing Agency Scanning Licence covers the making of digital copies of printed books, journals and magazines, for incorporation into 'course-based collections', subject to strict conditions. The Library can support staff in administering the licence.

Please see our guide for updated information on this issue

The CLA Scanning Licence

The Library, on behalf of the University, has subscribed to the Scanning Licence offered by the Copyright Licensing Agency. This licence extends the terms of the Photocopying Licence to cover the making of digital copies of printed books, journals and magazines, for incorporation into "course-based collections". The terms of the licence in respect of the material that can be copied, the extent limits, and the people who may access copies are broadly the same as for photocopying. There are, however, stringent controls which need to be applied. Digital copying (i.e. from electronic books and journals) is not covered.

Scanning limits

For any discrete course of study (module) the proportion of material which may be scanned is subject to the same extent limits as apply to the photocopying of extracts from the same materials, i.e.

  • Up to 5% or one whole article in a single issue of a periodical or set of conference proceedings;
  • Up to 5% or one complete chapter of a book;
  • A whole poem or short story from a collection (maximum 10 pages);
  • Up to 5% or one case of one report of judicial proceedings.


The licence permits the scanning of pages which consist either wholly of text, wholly of images (e.g. photographs or illustrations), or of pages which are a combination of text and images.

Material covered by the licence

Within the above limits, printed books and journals published in the United Kingdom and United States of America may be scanned, provided they are not listed in the CLA List of Excluded Works, or the list of Works Excluded from Scanning. Printed books and journals published in other countries may be scanned under the licence, please see the above link under the heading “International Territories”.

The materials must also either be:

  • owned by the University, or
  • copyright fee paid copies supplied by a document supplier (e.g. the British Library) holding a CLA document delivery licence.

Copying not covered by the licence

Items excluded from scanning are broadly the same as those excluded from photocopying:

  • Printed music (including words);
  • Maps and charts;
  • Newspapers;
  • Works specifically excluded by the copyright owner;
  • Unpublished material.

Scanning may also not be covered by the licence because:

  • You wish to use material which exceeds the licensed copying limits;
  • You wish to use material from publishers or countries for which the CLA holds no mandate.

In these instances, copyright clearance (possibly attracting a charge) will be required before you can create scanned copies.

Authorised access to digital copies

Digital copies stored in course collections may be downloaded and printed out (once only) by:

  • students registered on that course;
  • a tutor, lecturer or supervisor providing teaching or instruction on the course;
  • officers contracted by regulatory agencies such as QAA and RAE.

Digital copies may be referenced in online reading lists, but may not be included in the general library catalogue. To ensure that the copies can only be accessed by students on the course of study for whom the copies have been created, we are required to place these copies into a course-based collection - at DMU, a Blackboard module shell. We are also required to apply strict procedures for secure authentication, to ensure that the digital copy created under licence is limited to the students enrolled on that course.

Creating and adding digital copies

The permission to create and add copies to a course collection is restricted to a designated individual or individuals nominated by the institution. In our case, this is the Library's Principal Information Assistant (Document Supply), who will check and confirm that the requested materials are compliant with the terms of the licence and are not otherwise available electronically. He will also advise on obtaining clearances for materials not covered by the terms of the licence. Once permission to scan has been granted, the requesting academic may either undertake the scanning him/herself, or follow whatever procedures have been established within their faculty for this purpose. The Library regrets that it cannot undertake scanning on behalf of faculties.

For full details see section on Obtaining permissions below.

Copyright notice

All digital copies must contain in a prominent place a notice that includes at least the title of the work, the name of the author and of the publisher and, in the case of an artistic work, the name of the creator of the image. The Library will provide the appropriate form of words when confirming permission to scan.

Obtaining permissions

A process for managing the Licence has been agreed between the Library and Faculty representatives, with the aim of ensuring compliance and using simple reporting mechanisms without building undue delays or bureaucracy into the system.

  • If you wish to incorporate scanned material into your Blackboard shell, contact Rohit Tailor by email, fax (x7145) or post.
  • The Library will confirm compliance, attaching a copy of the Copyright Notice, with a reminder that this must be included as the first page of any scanned materials.
  • The individual academic will be responsible for:
    • arranging for the scanning of the material;
    • ensuring the Copyright Notice is included;
    • returning a copy of the scanned image to the library so that the required records can be supplied to the CLA;
  • The Library will retain a backup copy on a central server, both to facilitate re-use for other courses and as security in case of loss or corruption of data.
  • The Library will ensure, in consultation with the relevant academic, that appropriate "housekeeping" is undertaken so that copies are removed as soon as the teaching/assessment of a course of study is completed.

Submitting a request

Members of staff registered with this service can log in to access the CLA pages to submit a request online.


This is a blanket licence, with a flat fee paid centrally by the Library. There are no further costs on the basis of use, number of students in the group etc. The only additional costs will be if scanning is outsourced, or if clearances were required for items not covered by the licence.

Further information

For further information on the Licence contact Rohit Tailor, x 8034.

More details, including the text of the Licence and full user guidelines, are available at the CLA website.

Please note that inclusion of material within your Blackboard shell which does not comply with the requirements of the licence in all respects, including reporting, extent limits, source materials etc., could mean that you are in breach of both the legislation and the licence. This could have serious implications both for the University and for individuals. If in doubt, please seek advice.