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Library and Learning Services


All students and staff use copyright material to support their learning, teaching, and research.

Copyright material may be used both in preparing work (for example, taking copies of book chapters or journal articles to refer to later), or incorporated into the final work itself, in the form of a quotation, an extract, or a reference. It is important that both students and staff understand what is permissible so that they do not infringe the law, or break licence agreements. For students, in particular, it is important to observe copyright in order to help avoid the trap of plagiarism, which is a disciplinary offence in the University.

If in any doubt, seek advice BEFORE you copy.

The Department of Library and Learning Services can provide advice and guidance to students and staff on copyright-related issues, and also offers a copyright clearance service for staff wishing to use print or electronic materials in their teaching where these are not covered by licence.

Copyright is a complex area, and these pages are intended to provide guidance to members of the University. They do not constitute legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions: Copyright

FAQ on the basics of what you can and can't do without breaching copyright.

A general introduction to copyright

This section provides an overview of the concept of copyright, including what works are protected, how long it lasts, what copying is permitted and what constitutes infringement. It also gives advice on the use of quotations, and on what is meant by “fair dealing”.

Copyright for students - know your rights and responsibilities

Almost all the learning resources that you use as a student – books, periodicals, videos, software, etc. - will be covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You need to understand the basics of copyright so that you obey the law, avoid plagiarism, and know how to protect your work.

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.

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.

Copyright and the Internet

Information is freely available via the Internet, but this does not mean it is free to copy. Understand the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them through good practice when hyperlinking or using images, logos etc.

Copyright in music and films

Understand how films, sound recordings and other broadcasts may be used in learning and teaching. The Library can support teaching staff by making off-air recordings of many programmes under licence.

Copying of Artistic Works

'Artistic works', including paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures and collages, are all covered by copyright. Understand how such works may be incorporated into your learning or teaching materials, including the use of images in Powerpoint or Blackboard.

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence (Photocopying and Scanning books and journals)

The CLA HE Licence enables staff to make multiple copies or digital (scanned) copies of limited extracts from many printed sources for use in learning and teaching.

The Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licensing Scheme

The University's ERA licence permits us to record off-air and make copies of programmes broadcast by ERA's members (including the main terrestrial channels), for non-commercial educational purposes. The Library provides a service to make available off-air recordings either for addition to library stock or for use by academic staff in faculties in support of teaching.

The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) Agreement

The NLA licence allows us to copy and circulate cuttings from certain newspapers (i) for distribution to staff for internal management purposes, and (ii) for distribution to students for educational and instruction purposes, subject to certain conditions.