Copying for instruction

To use copyright materials in lectures, either in a presentation, on white boards, or in lecture notes or handouts, you can do so in a number of ways. In all cases full acknowledgement of the source should be made.

Illustration for instruction exception

This exception to UK Copyright law allows the copying of any type of copyright work for the purposes of illustration when teaching. It covers any type of copying, e.g. photocopying, scanning, and material can be included on interactive whiteboards, and in presentations.

There are a number of conditions that must be adhered to if you wish to rely on copying under this exception:

  • Copying is subject to fair dealing – so your copying is restricted to a small proportion of a work and should be limited to what is required to illustrate a teaching point. It should not impact on the rights holder, and this might mean displaying low resolution images, or making material available for a limited amount of time.
  • Copying must be for a non-commercial purpose and done by the person giving instruction.
  • Acknowledgement of the source must be given.

You might also be able to use materials in teaching under the criticism, review and quotation exceptions. See the Exceptions page for more details.

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Making photocopies for students

Staff can make multiple photocopies of extracts from books, journals or newspapers under the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE licence and Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) HE Licence to distribute to students on specific course of study.

See the University licences page for more advice on how much you can copy and what is covered.

Where publications are not covered by these licences the copyright owner must be contacted directly to ask permission to make multiple copies.

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Scanning under the CLA HE licence

The Copyright Licensing Agency HE licence allows the scanning of extracts and images from books and journals for delivery to students on a course. Links to scanned extracts can be made available via Moodle, or an online reading list. Scans can also be used on digital whiteboards and Powerpoint presentations.

Scanned extracts must have a copyright notice added and be centrally stored and recorded to allow for annual reporting to the CLA. This means scanning may only be carried out by the Library scanning service.

See the Scanning service page for how to request scans.

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Showing films, sound recordings and broadcasts

Staff can play commercial films, videos or DVDs to classes of registered students for educational purposes (Section 34 CDPA). These cannot be copied, digitised or used in any other way. The audience must only consist of staff and students.

The University has an Educational Recording Licence (ERA) which allows you to use off-air recordings of free-to-air radio and TV programmes in your teaching. The licence allows us to subscribe to BoB (Box of Broadcasts) which you can use to record broadcast programmes from 60+ TV and radio channels and share them with your students.

Be wary of using material you find on YouTube, Google Videos and similar sites, especially material posted by someone other than the copyright owner. It is always best to link to such resources rather than embed them in your materials. You should not link at all if you suspect material is infringing copyright.

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Using other types of materials

Our materials page provides further advice on use of other types of works, such as images, maps, music, and website and social media.

It is always a good idea to try and use materials that are copyright free, open licensed, or where copyright has expired. Our open licences page provides more advice and websites where you can search for open licensed materials.

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Copying for disabled students

An exception in UK copyright allows the creation of accessible copies of copyright works by, or for disabled students for personal use. It covers any type of work.  A copy of the work should already by owned by the student or University.  An accessible copy must not be available to purchase at a reasonable cost.

The University has an Alternative Format Service that can produce accessible course materials. Please contact Academic Support in the first instance for more assistance.

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