Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
This page addresses some of the main copyright concerns and questions which arise as a result of the everyday teaching and learning activities of the University. Further details can be accessed on the accompanying pages of the Information Policies copyright section.
Am I allowed to photocopy pages for my own use from books and journals?
Yes, you can copy extracts from most books, journals, conference proceedings and law reports as long as there is only a single copy for your own private individual use, and it is within the limits set out on this copyright page:
Be aware that legislation has prohibited the copying of material for commercially related purposes.
Does this also apply to Crown Copyright material?
In the interests of transparent and open government, certain categories of Crown Copyright materials have had their copyright waived to the extent that some works can be copied without the need for having to seek formal permission. You are still required to acknowledge all sources however. For further details relating to the Open Government Licence, please refer to: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/2/
Am I allowed to photocopy newspaper articles?
Yes, newspaper articles can be copied for private study or research purposes under a licence supplied by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). Copies can also be supplied to registered students on a course but digital content must not be stored electronically for more than 28 days
Am I allowed to scan pages of a publication or document for research or private study?
Scanning a printed article or an insubstantial part of a printed work may be acceptable as ‘fair dealing’ if, for example, the extract is scanned on to a personal computer for a project or course work. However, there is no current blanket licence which specifically permits individuals to do this. For further guidelines on copying electronically see:
Am I allowed to scan part of a book, journal or graphic image and place it on a website?
No. Posting of part or all of a copyright item on a network or Internet site open to the public cannot be considered ‘fair dealing’ and may indeed be regarded as illegal re-publication. Permission must be sought from the rights holder in all cases.
Am I allowed to copy from an old or rare book?
It is possible that the work in question may be out of copyright and if this is the case you can copy from it. In most cases copyright lies with the author or their estate for 70 years after his/her death so most works published before about 1890 can be assumed to be out of copyright. However, as most works from this period and earlier are either valuable, rare, or in a delicate state you should ask Information Services staff for advice and they may be able to copy the relevant section for you.
Am I allowed to use any image from the Internet in my presentation or on my web pages?
No - it is a common misconception that all images on the Internet are free, but they are not. The law of Copyright still applies to this type of material. Look for images which have a Creative Commons licence attached to them or which have been made available for use for educational purposes. You must ask for permission to use any images which are labelled 'all rights reserved' or which do not have any licence attached to them. Also remember to credit the creator of the image appropriately and where necessary.
Where can I find copyright-free material on the Web?
There are a number of copyright and royalty-free images, sound recordings and video on the Web, but you must check the terms and conditions of the website and/or object before you use anything. There is a list of possible resources available here http://copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com
When you see the phrase: "All rights reserved" - does this mean I can use it?
No - this means that the copyright owner does not want you to do anything with their work without their express permission.
When someone allows me to use their material, should I keep their permission / consent forms?
Yes, all copyright permissions (letters, e-mails, forms etc) must be retained by you for as long as the copied item exists.
I emailed an artist and asked for their permission to use an image from their website. They have not responded. Does this mean I can use it anyway?
No! No response does not automatically give you the right to use an item. Try sending a follow-up email, make a telephone call (if possible), and if everything fails try to find an alternative. If do need to include it in a thesis you should make a note to omit this image from copies made available to the public.
Am I allowed to copy an image from a book or the internet and use it as part of a poster to advertise a club or event?
No. Before using any such images you have to obtain the explicit permission of the copyright holder.
FAQs for Students
Do I own the copyright in my own work?
In general, yes. However, there are circumstances in which some students may have worked collaboratively with staff or have been funded by bodies which acquire some rights over the work. Various parties may share the copyright in these instances. The University will also expect you to make your work available for photocopying, electronic copying, lending and inclusion within the institution’s electronic repository
Am I allowed to include copyright material in my dissertation or thesis?
The examination exception in the Copyright legislation allows for the inclusion of 3rd party copyright material within exam papers and assessed scripts. This is taken to include theses and dissertations. However, both staff and students should be aware that in including 3rd party material they need to apply the ‘fair dealing’ test, key questions being: Am I using more of the work than is really necessary for the purpose?; Could I be damaging the interests of the copyright owner by reproducing their work in this way?. If you think the answer to either of those questions may be ‘yes’ then you should consider seeking permission.
Successful PhD candidates are expected to submit their works for inclusion within the University’s electronic repository, CADAIR, and this subsequent publication of their work is not covered. Therefore, those submitting PhDs are, in any case, expected to seek appropriate permission for inclusion of third party copyright material in their work, or otherwise highlight those instances where permission has not been sought or granted so that relevant action can be taken (e.g. an embargo placed on that work). Short quotes, small tables etc would not normally require permission, but clear and accurate acknowledgement of the source should always be included.
FAQs for Staff
Am I allowed to hand out ‘study-packs’ to students on a particular module?
Yes, you can distribute ‘course-packs’ or ‘study packs’ including extracts from books or journals to students on any given module. The extracts must not exceed the established limits for copying (i.e. 5%/one chapter/one article etc). Please note that you must not create more copies of the pack than there are students registered on a particular module. This allowance is covered by the CLA Licence and could not otherwise be argued to be ‘fair dealing’.
Does this also apply to groups of Distance Learners?
Yes. Distance Learners are also now covered by the CLA Licence.
Am I allowed to include newspaper articles in study packs?
Yes, within a limit of 250 copies. See details of the NLA licence above for other restrictions. The title of the newspaper and its date of publication should be clearly noted together with a statement declaring that it was copied under the terms of the NLA Licence.
Am I allowed to copy and distribute to my students extracts from a book/journal which I own but which is not held in the University library?
Yes, but again, within the limits as set out above. You should also bear in mind the fact that the CLA licence is not all-inclusive. Please refer to notice-boards or the CLA website (http://www.cla.co.uk/) for an up-to-date list of excluded works.
Am I allowed to give students library access to an unpublished work which I have created?
Yes. If you are certain that you are the copyright holder, an unpublished manuscript of an article or other written work may be held in the Short Loan Collection in order that students may read, take notes or copy. You would have to stipulate the extent to which students may copy from the work and lending of the work would not be possible. The material would also have to be removed in advance of publication, as in many cases the copyright would be transferred to the publisher at that stage.
If I have written this article/book why can't I photocopy as much as I want of it?
Copying in these circumstances depends what you signed when you agreed to publication. In many cases you will have signed away your ownership of the copyright to the publisher. The publisher is then the rights owner who can give, or charge for, permission to make copies beyond what is allowed under law or licence. If you haven’t signed anything you should still assume that the copyright of a journal article lies with the publisher until you have established otherwise.
If I use material as part of assessment do I still need copyright permission?
The examination exception in the Copyright legislation allows for the inclusion of 3rd party copyright material within exam papers and assessed scripts. Staff should be aware that in including 3rd party material they need to apply the ‘fair dealing’ test, key questions being: Am I using more of the work than is really necessary for the purpose?; Could I be damaging the interests of the copyright owner by reproducing their work in this way? If you think the answer may be ‘yes’ then you should consider seeking permission.
Am I allowed to record broadcast television programmes and show them to a class of students?
Yes. Staff are permitted to record programmes for non-commercial educational use and show them to students under a licence from the Educational Recording Agency (ERA). All recordings must be accompanied by the following information: the date of the recording; the title of the programme; the name of the broadcaster; the words “This recording is to be used only under the terms of the ERA licence”. The licence does not allow for the adaptation or alteration of a recording, for instance, the separation of images from soundtracks. In certain circumstances recordings made under the ERA licence may be held in the library for use by students. Information Services can undertake this for you. For details see: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/media/oa-recording/
Can I upload onto a VLE/Blackboard a programme I’ve downloaded from an on-demand service (e.g. iPlayer/4 on demand)
On-demand services are covered by the ERA Licence which allows the viewing of this material in classes and lectures. However, in most cases, third parties have imposed restrictions on the actual recording of this material and the broadcasting companies have subsequently had to impose control by Digital Rights Management protection (DRM). Unfortunately there is little non-DRM material available (some can be found on 4OD and iPlayer) and breaking DRM protection is illegal. If recordings are still being made available by the broadcaster you can link to the recording itself from within Blackboard.
Can I upload a film I’ve bought on DVD?
This will almost certainly not be permissible without the explicit permission of the relevant rightsholder
Can I upload a documentary I’ve bought on DVD?
Similarly, unless made available with a special licence, such as a Creative Commons Licence, you will not be able to upload this sort of material without permission from the rights holder.
Can I upload something I’ve purchased from iTunes or similar?
No. But you may play music in a lecture, seminar or tutorial provided that your audience consists only of students or academic staff and the music is for the purposes of instruction.
I want to scan some diagrams and photographs and include them in my PowerPoint presentation. Is this permitted?
Single graphs or diagrams for review may be included, but anything more than this would require either: a) the explicit permission of the copyright holder or b) application to Information Services to have material scanned under the CLA Scanning Licence (See http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/library/digitisation/ for details).
The scanning of printed material into electronic form for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study may be regarded as 'fair dealing', but this will not apply to material used for other purposes such as teaching or for conference presentations.
Am I allowed to scan text or diagrams for inclusion in Blackboard or another password- protected Virtual Learning Environment?
The same principles apply here as apply to scanning material for use in Powerpoint, as outlined above, i.e. you either require the permission of the copyright holder or need to have scanned under the terms and conditions of the CLA trial scanning licence.
Am I allowed to show clips from on demand services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD in lectures and seminars?
Yes, provided the clips are for educational rather than illustrative or entertainment purposes
Am I allowed to show films and television programmes in lectures and seminars?
Yes, as long as they are being shown for educational purposes only (i.e. not entertainment) to an audience of teaching staff and students.
Am I allowed to use content from YouTube on Blackboard or in lectures?
Yes as long as you link to it correctly by either providing the hyperlink or correctly embedding the code given by YouTube. However, you should avoid linking to content if you suspect that content to have been illegally uploaded to YouTube (e.g. questionable quality of new programmes indicating pirate copying).
Am I allowed to upload a programme to Blackboard that I've paid to download from iTunes or which I have bought in DVD or other format?
No, you must not upload commercial television programmes or films acquired by these means unless you have specific permission from the copyright owner to do so. This type of permission will usually be costly and extremely difficult to obtain.
Am I allowed to upload a television programme to YouTube?
No - this would be copyright infringement unless you have cleared all the rights in the programme first and gained permission from the broadcaster.
Do I need permission to use images in a short film?
If the images are not licensed for re-use then you will need to get permission from the copyright owner / photographer before using them in the film. The only exception to this rule is if the film is being made for the purposes of examination and assessment.
For more detailed descriptions of what you can and cannot do under the new copyright regulations, see the JISCLegal pages at: http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/ManageContent/ViewDetail/ID/3596/Questions-and-Answers--Copyright-Changes-2014.aspx
Dr Jonathan Davies, Data Protection & Copyright Manager, Information Services, Hugh Owen Library, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3DZ
Tel: 01970 628592 Fax: 01970 622404 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org