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Copyright, Scanning and Photocopying

Isn’t it the University’s responsibility to look after copyright?
No it isn't. Although the University has a responsibility to ensure that we comply with the law, it is the responsibility of the person making the copy to ensure that they do not infringe the law. Posters near all MFDs have a brief explanation of the current regulations.

What can I copy for my own private use?
It is illegal to copy anything that is protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright holder. However, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Acts, 1998 does recognise that this is restrictive in practice and so allows copying of some material without permission under "fair dealing" which allows copying provided:

  • it is for personal use, for the purposes of research or private study

  • it is for criticism or review

  • it comprises no more than

    • one article from a single issue of a journal, or one paper from a set of conference proceedings
    • a maximum of one complete book chapter from any one title
    • the whole of a poem or short story, not more than 10 pages in length, if contained in a collection of such works in book form
    • no more than 10% of a work

What about commercial use?

Under the terms of the Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC copying for any commercial purpose is not allowed, i.e. "fair dealing" does not apply to any copying for commercial purposes.

Although the University is a non-commercial organisation, it is the purpose of the copying which is relevant, not the nature of the organisation making the copies. For example, copying carried out for the purposes of research sponsored by a commercial organisation would qualify as copying for a commercial purpose, and a spin-out company based at the University would count as a commercial organisation. If copying is required for a commercial purpose, a copyright fee will be charged, collected by the Copyright Licensing Authority, then passed on to the copyright holder.

Can the library make copies on my behalf?
The Library can make copies, in line with the limits for individual copying, but must charge full cost for this service. As yet, the Library has no mechanism for providing this service.

Can lecturers make multiple copies to hand out in class?
Yes, but only within clearly defined limits. The CLA licence allows for one copy to be made for each student, and a copy for the lecturer. Copying for class use is limited to:

  • one article from a single issue of a journal
  • one paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • one chapter, or 10%, of a book

There is a list of excluded categories and excluded works – publishers and books which are not covered by the licence – available from the CLA’s web site at:

Does this include newspaper articles?
Yes, within the limits of the Newspaper Licensing Agency licence. This allows for up to 250 copies of any one article in paper, fax or acetate format only. The copies must be accompanied by a statement saying it is copied with permission from the newspaper concerned. Copies made under the terms of the licence are limited to educational and internal management purposes only, and cannot be used for sales or promotion or inclusion in other publications.

Does the CLA licence include copying for course packs?
Yes! The CLA licence now provides the ability to photocopy for course packs.

Is copying materials for distance learners covered by the CLA licence?
Yes, distance learners are included in the blanket CLA licence, as long as they are recorded in HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) data. They are counted as full students, even if they are only part-time, on the grounds that more photocopying is done for distance learners.

Is copying materials for non credit bearing courses covered by the CLA licence?
Non credit bearing courses are covered by the amended CLA licence, with effect from 1st August 2004.