Copyright and teaching: sharing copyright material with your students

Is it legal?

Although copying for your own research and private study is permissable, making multiple physical copies or sharing digital copies of material with your students is only possible in these situations:

  • You own the copyright in the material
  • The copyright in the material has expired
  • You have permission directly from the rights holder
  • The material was copied under the terms of a blanket licence, most commonly the Copyright Licensing Agency's (CLA) Higher Education Licence, or the Educational Recording Agency's (ERA) Licence 
  • The act is permitted under the publisher's licence

Licence conditions can be complex. If you are wanting to share copyright works with your students, please approach the Library Digitisation Service for guidance.

Copyright Licensing Agency's Higher Education licence

The Copyright Licensing Agency's (CLA) Higher Education blanket licence permits multiple copies of certain types of copyright works to be made for all students on a particular module and for the tutor, but some exceptions can apply.

Copies can be made from UWE Bristol Library's print or online collections and can be photocopied or distributed electronically via Blackboard. All digital copying must be reported annually to the CLA.

Your copies must fall within the limits of whichever is the greater, 5% or:

  • one chapter of a book
  • one article of a journal issue
  • one paper of one set of conference proceedings
  • one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings
  • one short story or one poem of not more than 10 pages in an anthology of short stories or poems

The Library Digitisation Service will:

  • check your course materials for compliance with CLA HE Licence terms
  • scan course material for you and put the copies on Blackboard
  • advise you of your options where this is not possible
  • record each copy and compile the annual report to the CLA

Scanning and the making of digital copies under the CLA HE Licence should only be done by designated staff (for example the Library Digitisation Service) who must be familiar with the terms, limitations, and exclusions of the licence.

Examples of sharing copyright material with your students

Making multiple print copies of an article or chapter

The CLA HE licence permits the photocopying of extracts from books, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings, and law reports, published in the United Kingdom and many countries overseas (the licence does contain some excluded categories).

You do not need to report this type of print copying to the CLA, but the limits outlined above apply to all copying made for students on a particular module, even if your copying includes a combination of print and electronic copies.

Posting scans of print articles or book chapters on Blackboard

The CLA HE Licence permits the scanning of extracts from print books, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings, and law reports, published in the United Kingdom and many countries overseas (the licence does contain some excluded categories) for all students on a particular module.

The scanning would usually convert the print item into an electronic PDF or image file.

Scans made under the licence need to be done by designated staff (for example the Library Digitisation Service), in accordance with licence terms, and reported to the CLA.

Posting copies of electronic articles and book chapters on Blackboard

The CLA HE Licence permits copying of extracts from electronic versions of books, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings, and law reports, published in the United Kingdom and many countries overseas (the licence does contain some excluded categories) for all students on a particular module.

Copies made under the licence need to be made by designated staff (for example the Library Digitisation Service), in accordance with licence terms and reported to the CLA.

Should an exclusion in the licence make it impossible to make a copy from the electronic version of a book, journal, periodical, conference proceeding, or law report, you may be able to do so under the publisher's licence.

The Library subscribes to numerous electronic journals and the licence conditions will vary between publishers. Whilst some publishers permit the copying of their content for specific modules and sharing it via secured systems like Blackboard, others simply do not.

If you wish to post articles from electronic journals to Blackboard it is your responsibility to check the licence conditions (often called Terms and Conditions) when accessing the publishers' own web sites.

Linking to electronic journals and books rather than copying

Instead of making a copy, you may wish to link to the online item on the publisher's web site in order to avoid infringing copyright or licenced terms. Please use readinglists.uwe.ac.uk and view the Library's Using readinglists.uwe.ac.uk collection on the staff intranet for further information.

Including extracts from copyright works in exam papers

There is a legal exception that means extracts of copyright works can be included in examination situations, either when setting the questions, or communicating the questions to the candidates.

Any copying is subject to 'fair dealing'. In practice this may mean limiting copying to shorter extracts where possible, and only allowing those taking the examination to see the extract.

You must also acknowledge the source of your extract unless this information compromises the examination.

Copying images for teaching

The CLA HE Licence allows the copying of illustrations, graphs, charts, etc, whether full page or embedded within a page, for all students on a particular module. Please get in touch with the Library Digitisation Service if you wish to do this.

There are many image resources offering copyright-free images that can be used for educational purposes.

Please note that 'copyright-cleared' images are not 'copyright free'. Copyright cleared means they have been cleared by a particular organisation, for a fee, and are often only available to an institution upon subscription.

Copying maps for teaching

The University has an Ordnance Survey Educational copyright licence that permits copying of Ordnance Survey maps for educational, research, or teaching purposes, for internal use within the University.

Note: if the scale is 1:25,000 or smaller, a colour copy must not exceed A4 (625 square centimetres) size.

The Library also subscribes to the Digimap service. Copying from this service is limited, so please note the terms and conditions that apply when accessing the resource.

Sharing TV and radio recordings

The Educational Recording Agency (ERA) license permits the university to record programmes from a range of TV channels and for them to be recorded onto DVD.

The licence also allows the University to subscribe to the online BoB service, which can be used by most students and staff to record TV and radio programmes, both for teaching and private study, and then to view the programmes in their web browser and via BlackBoard.

The ERA licence also permits UWE Bristol students and staff to access and download content from on-demand services such as the BBC iPlayer, 4-on-Demand, ITV Player, Demand 5, and Clic (S4C) for educational purposes. Linking to these services from within Blackboard is permitted, but due to the short-term availability of many of the recordings, BoB may offer a better solution.

Use of music when teaching

The University has a Phonographic Performance Licence covering the playing of recorded, copyrighted music. Simply playing musical extracts to a class is also covered by 'fair dealing'.

Further information

To discuss your teaching requirements further, please contact the Library.

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