Copyright is one of the intellectual property rights (others include patents & trademarks) designed to protect the “expression of ideas”. It aims to protect and reward original creator(s) of works for the investment of their time, effort and skill.
UK Copyright Law protects the commercial rights of authors, creators and publishers of written works (including their typographical arrangement), music (both composition and performance), works of art and computer programmes. In simple terms, it allows them to control who copies the material they have created so that they retain the right to exploit its commercial potential.
Further information about copyright and how it applies to Higher Education can be found on the Copyright Licensing Agency's website.
Adherence to copyright legislation and licences is a university-wide responsibility. All members of staff have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with and abide by the current copyright licensing arrangements.
You are responsible for ensuring that anything you copy for your individual use or copy / distribute to students complies with licensing arrangements and the law.
Distributing material that is in breach of copyright, whether physically or electronically could lead to the University facing significant financial penalties and/or legal action.
You can legally copy very little for your own use. However, copyright law makes exceptions that allow individuals to copy a very limited amount of material to enable them to undertake:
This is known as ‘Fair Dealing’
The amount that can be copied under Fair Dealing has never been legally defined. However, it is by convention accepted to mean a general permission to copy as long as what is copied does not harm or prejudice the interests of the rights holder. The amounts to copy stated below should therefore be treated as guidelines:
Books and print journals
You must copy no more than one chapter of a book, or one journal article from an issue of a journal. You must only make a single copy and it must be for your individual use.
Journal articles from library online resources
You must only download articles for your own personal use. They must not be emailed to anyone else (including colleagues). They must not be saved anywhere that other people can access including onto shared network drives.
You must only copy one article from an issue of a print newspaper and it must be for your individual use.
Websites and web pages
Don’t assume that because material is freely available on the web that you are free to copy it. Always check the permissions of the website you are using and check whether or not it explicitly states that you may copy material. This includes images that you have found from Google Image Search and other free search engines.
The university has a clearly defined policy on the copyright interest it will assert in work that you produce in the course of your employment.
In the case of commercially published work, publishers’ will also assert a copyright interest in your work.
You will often use other copyright material in the course of producing your own work. As such you need to ensure that you have the appropriate permission to do so.
It is possible both to publish your work and make it freely available and still protect your copyright.
If you would like any further help with copyright issues related to your own work please contact AskaLibrarian@hope.ac.uk.