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Copyright, Scanning and Photocopying

Am I allowed to scan material into my PC and then make the copy available to fellow colleagues or students?
No! Not without permission from the owner of the copyright. It is uncertain if you may even scan a copy for your own personal use. Making electronic copies available to anyone else is certainly a breach of copyright.

Queen Margaret University has signed the new CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) CLA Higher Education Licence. This new licence will enable us to digitize journal articles and book chapters for teaching purposes.

The licence covers material owned by QM Library. It may be possible to request copyright cleared copies of non-UK items or items not already held by the Library.

Can I download and print copies of articles from e-journals?
Students and staff are reminded that copyright regulations apply to electronic material, in the same way that they do to printed books and journals.

As with print journals,

  • no more than one article per issue can be downloaded or printed for personal study or research,
  • Systematic downloading and printing of whole issues and volumes is not permitted.

Printing from e-books is restricted in the same way as for print.

In addition you cannot:

  • save a pdf file and print more than once from it
  • save a pdf file on a shared drive and allow others to print from it
  • make photocopies from a downloaded pdf file
  • Posting or transmitting part, or all, of an electronic document on a network or WWW site open to the public is not 'fair dealing' and the permission of the copyright holder should always be sought.


If QMU is found to be contravening these regulations in the last resort, publishers may withdraw Queen Margaret University's access to the electronic versions of their journals

For further information please contact Barbara Burgess, Technical Services Manager.

How does copyright apply to electronic databases and information on the Internet?
The databases to which the LRC subscribes are covered by individual licences or agreements which specify what can or cannot be downloaded from them.

Information which is publicly available on the Internet is more complex as the ownership of the material is often not clear. Current advice is that electronic information sources should be treated as “literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” and therefore protected by copyright, but with no fair dealing concessions.

You are strongly advised to restrict such material to personal use only.