Return to homepage Skip to navigation Skip to site search Skip to main content Skip to footer

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, or
  • It is carried out under the fair dealing provisions of the Act, or
  • It is carried out under licence.

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 which provides a useful overview of copyright issues in a Higher Education Institution.

Copyright for Private Study and Research

Staff and students will often want to copy from copyrighted material. As well as relying on the 'fair dealing' exceptions allowed under UK Copyright Law the University holds several licences that allow staff and students to copy from certain types of copyrighted material. The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence, subject to terms and conditions, allows the copying and reuse of extracts from printed books, journals and magazines, and from  digital publications including some free-to view and subscription websites. The CLA HE licence also offers provision for copying for commercial projects.  More information about using copyright material for private study and research can be found on the Copyright - Guide for study and research.

Copyright for Teaching

For staff who wish to copy copyrighted  material for educational purposes rather than for their own private research then information is available on the Copyright - Guide for teaching. If you would like to get book chapters or journal articles scanned using our CLA HE licence for uploading to Blackboard or adding to your online Reading Lists then have a look at the Scanning Service

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

Guide: study and research

Copyright guide for students.

Guide: teaching

Copyright guide for staff.

Visually impaired and disabled readers

Copying for students and staff with disabilities.

University licences

The University holds a number of licences allowing us to photocopy, scan and record under certain conditions.  Full details of these licences can be found on our University Licences page.

Crown Copyright

Information on how you may use Crown copyright material is available from the Managing Copyright section of Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the Licensing and Copyright section of the Office of the Queen's Printer for Scotland Web sites.

There are also Guidance notes from HMSO and Guidance notes from OQPS to help you.