Library > Supporting You > Copyright

What is Copyright?

Copyright is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, under which copying is prohibited even for teaching purposes unless:

  • Permission is obtained from the copyright owner
  • It is carried out under licence or
  • It is carried out under the fair dealing provisions of the Act.

Any copying of material carried out within the University must conform to copyright law and/or to any of the subsequent licence agreements which the University has signed. Any breach of this constitutes a criminal offence.

A number of significant changes to the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act came into force in June and October 2014. Of particular interest to teaching staff and students are the changes which affect copying for illustration for instruction, copying for persons with disabilities and copying for non-commercial research and private study. The Association of University Administrators (AUA) have published a Good Practice Guide to Copyright.

Academic Staff

For staff who wish to copy copyright material for educational purposes rather than for their own private research  then information is available on the Copyright - Guide for Staff. If you would like to find out how to get book chapters or journal articles scanned using our CLA (Copyright Licencing Agency) HE licence for uploading to Blackboard then have a look at the CLA Scanning Service


In most cases, students will want to photocopy for their own private study or non commercial research. In addiiton to the fair dealing exception the University holds the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence which allows students to photocopy within certain limits. More information about using copyright material in your course work is available on the Copyright - Guide for Students


If you require any further information please contact your Academic Librarian.

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