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Guide for staff

Changes to 1988 Copyright , Designs and Patents Act which affect teaching

On 1st October and 1st June 2014 a number of significant amendments to the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) came into force in UK law. Of significance to lecturers and those involved with teaching are the revisions to Section 32 of the CDPA. This exception, which relates to copying for the purposes of instruction, has been widened.

This means that it is now possible to copy limited amounts of all types of copyright work for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction.

Lecturers can now:

  • Use extracts from films, sound recordings and broadcasts as well as extracts from text, music and artistic works for their teaching.
  • The illustration for instruction exception must be compliant with the fair dealing provision so you will have to make a judgment on what is fair.

 Below is a list of some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a Section on Copyright and Blackboard with instructions on how to add links to ebooks, journal articles and chapters digitised under the University's CLA Higher Education Licence. If you need any further information, please contact your academic librarian.  


Copyright FAQs for academic staff

Fair dealing is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no legal definition of fair dealing so it will always be a judgment that you have to make. The questions to ask are " Have i used only what I needed to illustrate/instruct the students"? "How would a fair-minded person have dealt with the work"?

Although the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act does not clearly define the amount of original material that can be copied,the following limits are often suggested as a guide: one article from any one issue of a journal (even if that one article is the whole issue); one chapter or up to 5% (whichever is greater) of a book or similar publication; up to 10% of a short book of up to 200 pages; one poem or short story of up to 10 pages from an anthology; the report of one case in law reports.

Unless there is a specific reason why you cannot acknowledge the sources, there must also be sufficient acknowledgment of the copyright owner and source of the material if the use is to be considered fair.

Yes you can still copy copyright works for setting an examination question but examinations no longer have a standalone provision. They are now included within the illustration for instruction so the amount covered must be fair and must include sufficient acknowledgment.

The University has signed the CLA Higher Education Licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). This Licence provides blanket permissions to photocopy and scan within set limits from millions of books, journals and magazines for teaching purposes.

***The terms for scanning material under the licence are more restrictive than those for photocopying. In order to comply with the terms of the Licence scans from copyright material can only be made by Library and Copyshop staff.

More information about using the scanning service is available on the Scanning Service for Staff

There are set limits as to how much can be photocopied.

- One complete chapter from a book

- One article from an issue of a serial publication or from a set of conference proceedings

- One short story or poem (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology of short stories or poems

- One whole scene from a play

- One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings

- For published reports of judicial proceedings, the entire report of a single case.

- Or 10% of any of the above, whichever is the greater

Most UK publications (but not all) and some US and international publishers allow photocopying of their material for teaching. There are, however, some works that are excluded from the Licence. These include printed music, newspapers and unpublished works.

If you are photocopying material for teaching it is your responsibility to check that the material is covered by the Licence and that you do not copy more than the limits listed above. Do not assume that you have permission to copy all material without making the appropriate checks.

When making multiple copies for a class the number of copies is limited so as to provide the students in the class with one copy each as well as one copy for the lecturer. The CLA have a useful tool which will help you check if the publication you wish to photocopy is covered by the licence. Your Academic Librarianis always available to provide advice if you need it.


Copyright guides and training

Copyright Training for Lecturers - Produced by Jisc legal this online course takes about an hour to complete.

Good practice guide to copyright  from the Association of University Administrators (AUA).

Copyright User - an online resource aimed at making UK copyright law accessible to all copyright users.


Copyright and Blackboard

When adding material to Blackboard it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not infringe copyright or break the terms of any of our online databases. The Library has produced a short guide (Copyright and Blackboard to help you stay within the law. The guide suggests that where possible you should link to content from Blackboard rather than uploading pdfs. The Library has produced short guides on how to link to ebooks and journal articles from Blackboard as well as linking to scanned content held in the CLA's Digital Content Store which has been scanned under our CLA HE Licence.

Creating links to Journal articles from Blackboard

Creating links to ebooks from Blackboard

Creating links to scanned chapters from Blackboard.

For more information about the Scanning/Digitization Service click here.

If you need any assistance with making links from Blackboard or have questions about the Scanning/Digitization Service then your Academic Librarian will be happy to help. 

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