What is copyright?
Copyright applies to all original works. The word copyright literally means the right to copy, however it is more commonly interpreted as: the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the creator to protect literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works for a specified period of time.
Copyright does not protect ideas; it will protect them once they are fixed in a tangible form.
Copying for research and private study
There are a number of fair dealing exceptions in UK law which permit the copying of limited amounts of copyright works for the purposes of research and private study. There are also a number of licensing schemes which authorise more extensive copying in return for fees, which are subsequently passed on to the rights holders.
Can I copy printed material (for example, books and journals)?
You may copy a fair amount of copyright printed material for the purposes of non-commercial research or private copying. A fair amount is restricted to whichever is the greater of:
- One chapter or 5% of a book
- One article or 5% from a single issue of a journal
- One short story or poem, of not more than 10 pages, from an anthology or 5%
- One paper from one set of conference proceedings or up to 5%
This applies if you are using a photocopier, scanner or any other copying device. Caution: although you may make your single copy by using a scanner or other means of electronic copying, you must not re-publish or distribute the material in any way, for example by adding it to a web page, or make multiple copies of the item.
Can I download and/or print from the Internet?
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does allow students to make a single copy of a reasonable proportion of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works for the purposes of research or private study. Although this concept was initially developed with print materials in mind, it is a useful rule of thumb to apply the fair amount outlined above when copying electronic materials which are not otherwise governed by any specific licences.
You must not download music from the web unless the website permits it. You must not participate in file sharing. Both are breaches of copyright and could have serious consequences for you and UCA.
What about hyperlinks?
In general linking to other people's websites is not an issue, however students should always check the terms of the website to see if permission is required.
You should avoid deep linking (hyperlinking direct to someone else's work within a website, bypassing the homepage) as this could be construed as passing information off as your own.
It is always preferable to link to the home page rather than linking to a deep level of a website. It is also good practice to clearly acknowledge the name of the website and any attached authors/corporate authors.
Can I copy still images?
Images (illustrations, photos, diagrams and other pictures) may be copied as long as they are for your own non-commercial private study/research or for an examination.
Use for any other purpose is not allowed unless the student has written permission from the rights holder, confirmation the image is out of copyright or knows the image is freely available under a specific licence (for example, Creative Commons).
And moving images? You may copy a small excerpt from a film for non-commercial private study or research.
Copying for students with disabilities
Students with a disability may create single or multiple copies of the whole or part of a copyright work (including films and sound recordings) in order to have an accessible copy for their studies.
University staff may also copy on behalf of a student with a disability.
This exception will only apply when an accessible version is not available commercially at a reasonable cost. The accessible copy is only to be used by the individual with the disability and must not be circulated to others (i.e. via a network); this ensures UCA complies with the CLA licence and Section 31A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
Using copyright works in the classroom/lecture theatre
Section 32 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 allows academics to copy a small proportion of a copyright work for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction (to illustrate a point through teaching).
This exception is subject to fair dealing - use must be non-commercial and work used must be sufficiently acknowledged.
UCA has a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence.
Our CLA licence permits academics and authorized persons to make multiple copies of extracts from certain printed books, journals and magazines and distribute those copies to UCA registered students.
The CLA licence covers most UK publications, and some US and international publishers. The licence permits,
- Multiple photocopies to be made of an extract from a printed source (books, journals) covered by the CLA.
- Digital copies to be made from a printed source (books, journals) covered by the CLA for sharing on the University's VLE (myUCA). Our current CLA licence does not permit the copying of born digital materials (for example, ebooks). To comply with the CLA licence an extract must not exceed,
- One chapter or 10% of a book.
- One article or 10% from a single issue of a journal.
- One short story or poem, of not more than 10 pages, from an anthology or 10%.
- One paper from one set of conference proceedings or up to 10% Copies can only be made of materials licensed for photocopying and scanning by the CLA. A list of excluded work can be obtained here.
If you are an academic at UCA and require assistance with the scanning of a work covered by the CLA, please email email@example.com quoting the module the scan is needed for and how many students are currently enrolled on it.
Copying images for teaching
Images embedded in books or journals that are covered by our CLA licence may be copied for the purpose of teaching. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance, quoting the module the scan is needed for and how many students are currently enrolled on it.
You may copy images for the purpose of illustration for instruction (to illustrate a point through teaching). This exception is subject to fair dealing, use must be non-commercial and work used must be sufficiently acknowledged.
It is recommended that any images copied should be displayed in low resolution and on a password protected VLE to support the contention that use is fair. It is always advisable to first try and source images that are available under a Creative Commons licence or where the copyright has expired (see Free and public domain sources).
Copying moving image for teaching
UCA has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence which permits the capture of TV and radio broadcasts. Recordings are made available on the University's streaming service eStream Player. To request a TV or radio programme to be recorded, please ask at the Gateway desk. You may copy a clip from a commercial film for the purpose of illustration for instruction (to illustrate a point through teaching). This exception is subject to fair dealing, use must be non-commercial and work used must be sufficiently acknowledged.
Free and public domain sources
As we have outlined above, UK copyright law does permit limited use of in-copyright works for education, however, there are also sources available that permit more extensive use without the need to seek permission.
The following list provides details of some of these sources.
Educational UCA has access to various image databases that allow images to be used for educational purposes. This includes UCA's image database, ImageBank, where students and staff can uploadimages of their own work and attach copyright licences.
Free image databases include:
- Commercial Flickr Internet Archive Book Images: a searchable database of 12 million historical copyright-free images
- Google Images: use the Advanced Images Search on Google and select commercial usage rights.
- Pixabay: a repository of public domain pictures
- Morguefile: contains photographs freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site. The site requests you acknowledge the creator.
Free Music/Sound Recordings include:
- Educational or Non-Profit mobygratis: a resource for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video or short.
- Jamendo Music available under Creative Commons licences.
- NASA: a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions.
Free Moving Image databases:
Educational UCA has access to various moving image databases that allow use for educational purposes. This includes UCA's streaming service, eStream Player, which captures TV & Radio broadcasts daily.
- Prelinger Archives: a collection of films relating to U.S. cultural history. Films can be reproduced for not-profit, educational, scholarly, or archival purposes.
- YouTube videos have a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence assigned and can be used for commercial purposes. To access these videos add a Creative Commons filter when you search on YouTube.
What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation whose remit is to expand the amount of creative works available for others to legally share, reuse or build on. Creative Commons released easy to use copyright licences that anyone can apply to their creative work.
The licences allow others to share, reuse or build on work without needing to ask permission from the copyright owner.
There are several licences which each grant different levels of permission.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
This licence is the most restrictive of the six main licences, only allowing others to download your work and share with others as long as they credit you. They can't change it in any way or use it commercially.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to licence their derivative works on the same terms.
Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND
This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and licence their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to copyleft free and open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the licence used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licenced projects.
Attribution CC BY
This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of the licences offered.
The University has a Higher Education Licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). This licence allows academics and authorised persons to make multiple copies of extracts from certain printed books, journals and magazines and distribute those copies to UCA registered students. The CLA licence covers most UK publications, and some US and international publishers.
The University has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence, which permits the recording of TV & Radio broadcasts for non-commercial educational purpose, as long as the broadcaster is an ERA member (for example, BBC, ITV, Channel 4).
The University has a Basic Educational Establishment Licence from the Newspaper Licensing Agency. This licence allows occasional copying of UK national titles and occasional copying of five UK local and/or regional newspapers.
This guide is intended to advise postgraduate students with the use of third party materials in eTheses, specifically the use of images. Images could be photographs, architectural plans, charts, illustrations or cartoons.