Copyright and teaching

Most published books, journals, images, and music are subject to copyright restrictions. This page provides information about copyright for teaching purposes.

Copyright and teaching

As an academic you will invariably want to use copyright works in some way to support your teaching. For example, you may want to:

  • hand out photocopied or scanned extracts from books and journals
  • include images in your lecture slides
  • add digitised materials to your reading lists

Staying compliant

There are a number licenses and exceptions under copyright law that allow you to use copyright works for educational purposes.


Copyright Licensing Agency's Higher Education licence

The Copyright Licensing Agency (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 the limitations detailed below will apply.

Your copies must fall within the limits of whichever is the greater, 10% 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

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, therefore all digitisation requests must be processed by the Library Digitisation Service. The Library Digitisation Service will check your course materials for compliance with CLA HE Licence terms, scan course material for you and advise you of your options where this is not possible.

Make a digitisation request directly from your reading list

Make a digitisation request using an online form

Other licences

Below is a list of links to the major licences bought by the University. For further information about these licences, please Ask a Librarian.

Educational Recording Agency (ERA)

Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA)

Ordnance Survey 

Copyright exceptions

There are some exceptions within the law which allow you to copy material under certain circumstances without infringing copyright.

Illustration for instruction

Criticism, review and quotation

Copying and use of extracts

Fair dealing

Examples of copyright in practice

Copying images for teaching

Finding images to spice up your presentation can be a challenge, Just because an image is easily accessible on the internet does not mean that it is in the public domain as far as copyright is concerned. Fortunately there are lots of images available which have been licensed under Creative Commons licenses. There are different types of Creative Commons license but all of the CC licences require that users attribute the creator of the work.

You can use Advanced search in Google to find images that are licensed for reuse and Creative Commons Search lets you search across a range of CC licensed resources (images and media) provided by various organisations including Flickr and Wikimedia Commons. There are also many other image resources offering copyright-free images that can be used for educational purposes.

The CLA HE Licence also 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.

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.

Event Capture

As long as the copyright works used in your lecture are covered by a copyright license, an open license such as Creative Commons, or fall under a copyright exception such as illustration for instruction then recording the will not affect your use of these materials. The rules are the same for recorded lectures as they are for live lectures and therefore acknowledgement of the source should always be given and the use of the material should be fair.

Video materials

It is permitted to use event capture when showing ERA licensed media during a lecture as long as the use is for educational purposes only, however the lecture recording process will only make a very low-grade copy of any videos you show in class via the computer, so this is not a recommended way to make such materials available to your students.

If you wish to use any film and sound recordings including material from on-demand services or Box of Broadcasts in a lecture you want to record, it is best practice to pause the recording during the video or edit these parts out of the recording later (before making available to students). Where web-based video (e.g. Box of Broadcasts or YouTube) has been used in a lecture it is preferable to provide a link instead, as your students will then benefit from the video content outside of the lecture.

Special consideration should be given to the following:

  • Film and sound recordings such as ERA licensed recordings or material from Box of Broadcasts if the lecture is intended for overseas viewing, as they should only be accessible within the UK
  • iTunes, YouTube or Vimeo material. The copyright resides with the creator of the video, so you would need to obtain permission directly from them (YouTube or iTunes cannot grant this on their behalf). Some of these materials may be available for educational use or under a CC licence. While it may be permissible to show these recordings for educational purposes, you should exclude this content from a recorded lecture and provide a link to the material instead. It is best practice to do this for all web-based video content.
  • Unpublished material which has not previously been made available to the public

Further information

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

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