Overview of copyright legislation

Copyright is one of a group of intellectual property rights. Copyright plays an important role in the work undertaken by everyone at the University. You must consider copyright before re-using any material.

We provide assistance to users in relation to copyright queries. We raise awareness of the legal issues relating to the use of information technology with a particular focus on copyright.

If you need any further help or advice please contact us.


What is copyright?

Copyright protects literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as well as films, sound recordings and broadcasts. If you want to use a copyright protected work then you usually have to get permission from the copyright owner or rely on a licence or copyright exception.

There is no blanket exception for 'educational use' in the UK; however there are a few exceptions that allow you to copy or use a copyright work without seeking the permission of the copyright owner. The majority of use will require permission from the copyright owner or use under a licence. Please contact us for guidance if you wish to reuse a copyright protected work.


How long does copyright last?

Type of work How long copyright lasts
Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work 70 years after the death of the author.
Typographical arrangement of a published edition 25 years from when it's first published.
Sound and music recordings (performance rights)Sound and music recordings (performance rights) Where a sound recording has been made of a performance and that sound recording is lawfully published (released to the public) then the rights of the performer will expire 70 years from the date of the first publication. For producers of sound recordings the rights will expire after 70 years.
Films 70 years after the death of the director, screenplay author and composer.
Broadcasts 50 years from when it is first broadcast.
Moral rights Duration is the same as for the copyright in the relevant work with one exception, the False Attribution right only lasts 20 years from the death of the author/director in all cases.

Copyright exceptions

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) was amended in 2014 to add or amend the copyright exceptions detailed below to take account of technological changes in the education and research environment.

The copyright exceptions provide a legal defence for people using copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner. The exceptions can be used in limited circumstances and are subject to a ‘fair dealing’ test.

Please contact us for guidance if you wish to use an exception.


Quotation

This exception allows you to reuse a work without permission from the copyright owner for the purpose of quotation (criticism, review and news reporting). The use is subject to ‘fair dealing’ and the use must not adversely affect sales of the original work.

You can:

  • Only quote from published works
  • Quote must be ‘no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used’
  • Provide an acknowledgment, unless impractical to do so
  • This exception cannot be overridden by contract terms within a licence or subscription agreement

You can't:

  • Quote a whole copyright work.

Making accessible copies for students with disabilities

The Regulations do not define a disability. They state if an individual has a disability which prevents them from enjoying the work to the same degree as someone who does not have a disability then you can legally make a copy of the work for them. A disabled student can also make a copy themselves.

If you have lawful possession or lawful use of work e.g. you own a copy or are borrowing it from the library or accessing it via a subscription, you can:

  • Make an accessible copy of a work for a disabled student for their own personal use (no longer restricted to visually impaired students)
  • Make accessible copies of all kinds of works (including broadcasts, films and sound recordings)
  • If a suitable accessible copy is commercially available the University must purchase this and cannot make their own accessible copy
  • Add subtitles to broadcasts and recordings of performances in film and sound recordings
  • This exception cannot be overridden by contract terms within a licence or subscription agreement
  • Any copying done under this exception is subject to record keeping requirements

You can't:

  • Make the accessible copies available to all students
  • Copy from an unlawful source

Illustration for instruction

This exception allows you to use all types of copyright works “for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction”. This includes illustrating or reinforcing a teaching point, or the setting, communicating and answering of examination questions.

The use is subject to fair dealing which means the use of the work must not adversely affect the sales of the work and the amount being copied must be reasonable and appropriate to the context in which it is being used.

You can:

  • Reuse the work “for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction”
  • Use for non-commercial purposes
  • Use the copyright work to give (or prepare to give) or receive (or prepare to receive) instructions e.g. setting exam questions. The work maybe covered by the CLA licence so pleae contact us for guidance.
  • Provide an acknowledgement, unless impractical to do so

Recording broadcasts

This exception allows you to make a recording and play broadcasts to students for non-commercial purposes. The recording can be made available to staff and students on and off campus by “secure electronic network access” where a licence does not apply. In most cases we will rely on our ERA licence to access broadcasts, however if your broadcast is not covered by this we can use this exemption without infringing copyright.


Photocopying and scanning for students

This exception allows staff to copy extracts for inclusion in course packs and hand-outs for students. It has been updated to allow the following:

  • Any copy made under this exception can now be made available via a “secure network” which is accessible only by staff and students (MyPlace).
  • Up to 5% of a copyright work may be copied within a 12 month period. Although the CLA licence allows 5% of a work per course of study which is more generous.
  • A work which incorporates a work should be treated as a single work e.g. if you wish to copy a small number of pages from a book which includes a diagram, you can also copy the whole diagram, which would normally be treated as an artistic work.
  • Provide an acknowledgement, unless impractical to do so.

In most cases we will continue to rely on our CLA licence to make extracts available for students. However, if the copyright work you wish to use is not covered by the CLA licence you may able to rely on this exception to make the copy available without infringing copyright.


Library privilege

This exception has been amended and updated and now allows the following use of copyright works:

  • Allows the University Library to make works available to the public of a lawfully acquired work by means of a dedicated terminal for the purpose of non-commercial research or private study.
  • All types of copyright works can now be copied (conditions apply).
  • Requests for inter-library document supply may now be accepted electronically (email) with no signature required.
  • Any charges made for copying must be “calculated by reference to the costs attributable to the production of the copy”. Charging is no longer compulsory.
  • This exception cannot be overridden by contract which means librarians will no longer have to check licence restrictions attached to a work before making a preservation copy.

Parody and pastiche

This is a new exception allows you to reuse a copyright work without permission from the copyright owner for the purpose of parody, caricature or pastiche. The use is subject to ‘fair dealing’ and the use must not adversely affect sales of the original work.

You can:

  • use a few lines from a film or song for a parody sketch
  • use small parts from a number of films to compose a larger pastiche artwork

You can't:

  • use a whole copyright work for these purposes

This exception may be useful to those in English or Drama departments.


Research and data mining for non-commericial research

This exception allows researchers to make copies of any copyright work for the purposes of ‘computational analysis’, where you have lawful access to the work e.g. you are accessing it via a subscription. This exception is subject to the ‘fair dealing’ provisions.

You can:

  • make a copy for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research
  • provide a sufficient acknowledgement, unless impractical to do so

You can't:

  • use a copyright work where you do not have access to a lawful source
  • use a whole copyright work

This exception cannot be overridden by contact terms although publishers and content providers are able to apply reasonable measures to protect their network security. These measures should not prevent or restrict a researcher’s ability to text and data mine.

Please note this exception applies to the process of carrying out your research, but does not apply to the published data.


Criticism and review

This exception allows you to reproduce part of copyright work for the purpose of criticism and review in teaching and scholarly works, but it cannot be used for design or illustrative purposes e.g. to make a power point presentation to look attractive.