Copyright guidelines for students
- What is copyright?
- Duration of copyright
- Infringement of copyright
- What is permitted?
- Copyright and the Internet
These guidelines have been produced to draw your attention to the importance of copyright issues. Students need to be aware that even for educational purposes, there are certain constraints that must be abided by in order to stay within copyright law.
Copyright subsists in any creative work that has been recorded in a tangible form. It protects the creative output of authors, musicians etc. and safeguards the financial investments of those who cover the costs of publishing these works. Those who create these works are not obliged to display a copyright sign, the work is automatically protected.
The following categories are copyright protected:
- Literary, dramatic, musical works – literary works include: tables or compilations (other than databases); computer programs; preparatory design material for computer programs; and databases; dramatic works include works of dance or mime.
- Artistic works – these include photographs, maps, charts, plans, engravings, sculpture, buildings and models of buildings.
- Sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes – sound recordings include any spoken word material. Films include any kind of video recording. Soundtracks are treated as part of the film.
- Typographical arrangements of published editions – the layout of words on the pages of a literary, dramatic or musical work.
Copyright expires 70 years after the end of the year of a known author’s death; or for works of unknown authorship, expiry is 70 years from when the work was first publicly available. The exceptions to this are works protected by the Crown, Parliamentary or international organisations which can be copyright protected for up to 175 years. If, however during the first 75 years of this period the work is made available commercially, then protection is for 50 years from this point.
Film copyright expires 70 years after the death of the last to die of the following: the principal director, author of the screenplay, author of the dialogue or composer of the music composed for and used in the film.
Sound recordings, cable programmes and broadcasts have a copyright period of 50 years after the end of the year in which they were first made, released or first broadcast.
The copyright for a typographical arrangement lasts for 25 years after the end of the year in which the edition was published.
Infringement of copyright can have very serious consequences for individuals and for the university. Copyright is infringed when the whole OR substantial part of a work is copied, performed or adapted without the prior permission of the copyright owner. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does not specify what a “substantial part” is. This can be judged either qualitatively or quantitatively.
There are a number of limited exceptions to copyright that allow copying of a work or a part of it without seeking the copyright owner’s permission. One of these exceptions that is relevant to academic study is one that allows “fair dealing” copying or a work for research and private study. Guidelines suggest that the material copied must not be greater than 5% of any published work:
- in the case of a book, one whole chapter
- in the case of an article in an issue of a serial publication or in a set of conference proceedings, one whole article
- one illustration, diagram or map not exceeding A4 size as a separate item from any of the above
- in the case of an anthology of short stories or poems provided that it does not exceed 10 pages in length
- in the case of a published report of judicial proceedings, the entire report of one single case
- up to 10% of a pamphlet or report provided that it does not exceed 20 pages
- short excerpts from musical works but not whole works or movements and not for performance purposes
Works that have been created electronically are protected in the same way as those in print. Do not assume that because something is available to download from the internet, that you are free to copy it. It is advisable to look for a copyright statement, which can often be found on the home page and if you are in any doubt you should look for an email link or website contact and seek permission to download or copy the material.
Remember that most of our electronic resources are not only covered by copyright law, but also they each have separate licence terms and conditions governing such issues as access entitlement, copying of data in print and electronic form, use of data etc. You are obliged to adhere to the terms set out in the licence agreement between the information provider and University of West London, and in case of doubt you should ask your Subject Librarian for guidance.
You should also be aware that not all material on the internet is legal. It may be infringing material itself and you should not copy, download or make hypertext links to such material.
University of West London holds a number of licences which allow students and staff to copy certain limited quantities of copyright material. Licences which may be relevant to you are listed below.
- Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Photocopying Licence - this allows the limited copying, within the constraints listed earlier, by or for staff and students. For further details please access the CLA website at www.cla.co.uk
- Educational Recording Agency: this allows staff and students to make off-air recordings of radio and television programmes licensed under the scheme. This does not include Open University programmes which come under another licensing scheme.
- Newspaper Licensing Agency: this permits staff and students to make up to 250 photocopies of cuttings from a specified range of newspapers for educational purposes. The licence does not allow the copying of illustrations, cartoons, photographs or advertisements.
- Open University: this permits the copying of OU programmes for educational purposes. However, this does not allow further copying and University of West London is only licensed to hold one copy of a programme per site.
- Design and Artists Copyright Society: The licence allows the making of transparencies of artistic works, photographed from books and journals.
These guidelines are not exhaustive. If you have any queries concerning copyright issues, please contact your Subject Librarian.