Copyright is a form of intellectual property right which is implicit in the creation of anything original, including literary works, paintings, photographs, films, and television programmes. Its purpose is to define and protect the legitimate interests of copyright owners and, indirectly, to ensure that they receive suitable acknowledgement and, where appropriate, payment for the use of their work by others. Its terms are set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, in its associated statutory instruments and subsequent amendments, and in the European Union Directive on Copyright 2003. Together with a series of licences agreed between British universities and publishers, this legislation provides a framework governing the application of copyright to U.K. higher education based on limited rights for the student and researcher and a package of additional (but also limited) rights to assist university teaching in a manner which will provide financial recompense for the copyright owners.
B. Copyright ownership and duration
For literary (i.e. all written material), dramatic, musical and artistic works, copyright is usually held by the author or creator (or sometimes the employer if the work was done in the course of employment). It can also be assigned to another party, most obviously to the publisher of a journal article. This copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author or creator. In addition, the publisher retains typographic copyright in the printed page for 25 years after the date of publication. As a result, a recent edition of a long-dead author cannot be freely copied.
Film copyright lasts for 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last principal director, author and composer died.
Copyright in television broadcasts lasts for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the programme was first broadcast.
Copyright in sound recordings and radio broadcasts lasts for 50 years after the work's publication or broadcast.
Photographs, official publications, computer software and unpublished works have different rules.
C. Photocopying: what is permitted?
There are no restrictions on photocopying older material which is out-of-copyright (see para. B above). For material still protected by copyright, a limited amount of copying is permitted by legislation:
- An 'insubstantial' part of a work. 'Insubstantial' is not defined, and in many circumstances anything worth copying will be a 'substantial' part of a work.
- A copyright holder may give permission, with or without a fee, But make sure that that permission is given in writing and can be easily found if requested.
- 'Fair dealing' allows a certain amount of copying for private study and non-commercial research (see para. C1 below) and for the purposes of criticism and review.
C1 Single copies for private study and non-commercial research (fair dealing). For most published works, the fair dealing clauses of the Copyright Act permit staff and students to make one copy of up to 5% of the work, or:
- One complete chapter of a book.
- One article per issue of a journal or set of conference proceedings.
- Up to 10% (maximum of 20 pages) per short book without chapters, report or pamphlet.
- One poem or short story (maximum of 10 pages) from an anthology.
Fair dealing does not permit copying for someone else or repeat copying by a group of students from the same work which is likely to result in copies of substantially the same material being copied at substantially the same time for substantially the same purpose.
C2 Multiple copying for teaching. Staff are permitted to make multiple copies of book chapters and journal articles within the limits set out for single copying in paragraph C1 above. They may make one copy of the item for every student engaged in that particular module plus one copy for themselves. Please note that several categories of material are not covered by the CLA licence, including printed music, maps, public examination papers, works published by non-participating U.S. publishers, and newspapers. (The University has a separate licence permitting systematic photocopying for teaching purposes from all U.K. national newspapers, excluding the supplements to 'The Times'). A number of individual publications are also excluded. A full list of these excluded categories and works can be found on the CLA's website. Staff wishing to photocopy from this excluded material or to exceed the copying limits set out in the licence must obtain written permission from the copyright holder (normally the publisher) in advance.
C3 Library Short Loan Collection. If it is not possible to place digitised copies of materials from books and journals on the VLE (MMS) (see para. D below), the Library will place copyright-cleared photocopies on Short Loan for the duration of a module, though this is also subject to the same limits as those detailed in para. C1 above (i.e. not more than one chapter per book, one article per journal issue, etc.). Short Loan photocopies are subject to further restrictions as students are likely to want to make more copies of these items. As a result, the Library will only place photocopies of chapters and articles on Short Loan if:
- The University owns at least one copy of the original published edition, or
- The Library is able to obtain a 'copyright-fee paid' copy of the item from either the British Library or another licensed document supplier, or
- The Library is able to obtain written permission in advance from the copyright holder. Adequate time must be left for this.
D. CLA Digitisation Licence
The University holds a licence from the CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) which allows the digitisation of limited amounts (see para. C above) of copyright materials from books and journals for delivery to students through the VLE (MMS, which can be linked to from Moodle).
If you have any concerns about whether the copies you wish to make are legal, please email us at email@example.com.
Digitisation of journal articles and book chapters
For academic staff: If you wish to have journal articles or book chapters added to your module on MMS please either:
- send full bibliographic details or a photocopy/pdf of the material to the Short Loan Department in the Main Library (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- or, if you wish to have an online reading list created for your module (see Reading lists - guidance for staff for info), send a copy of your current reading list marked up with items to be digitised to email@example.com.
Short Loan staff will then add a copyright cover sheet and upload the digitised material to the relevant module in MMS. It is essential that digitised material is only uploaded by designated Library staff – academic staff must not upload copyright material themselves as this would be in breach of the University’s CLA licence.
All materials uploaded in this way must be from a print volume held by the Library and be either published in the UK (subject to restrictions) or in one of the Scanning Mandate Territories on this list, or have written permission from the copyright holder for the material to be digitised.
If providing a photocopy/pdf, the article/chapter should be an authentic representation of the original printed pages, i.e. these should be clear, free from markings of any kind, and, for ease of scanning, single-sided.
Digitised images from UK published books and journals
If you wish to use an image as part of your teaching in an MMS module or presentation, please fill out the CLA Digitisation Licence Request form (teaching staff only).
Updated 10 December 2010