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Copyright: Copyright and Library staff

Everything you need to know about copyright


This short guide covers some of the main points that Library staff may need to be aware of.

Licence coverage

The CLA Licence allows - subject to terms and conditions or specific exclusions - the copying of extracts of text and still images from all printed books, journals and magazines published in the UK and from overseas, as well as from many digital publications.

To check coverage use the Check Permissions tool:

CLA Permissions Checker

Source copies

The Licence states that apart from material that is free-to-view, source copies which can be copied from include:

  • publications owned or subscribed to by the Library (such items don't need to be catalogued or held in the main library collection)
  • 'copyright fee paid' copies (e.g. from the British Library)
  • Print publications which are owned by the Library but not purchased e.g. acquired as donations or bequests

Source copies which can't be copied from include:

  • publications not owned or subscribed to by the University. This includes items purchased or subscribed to by an individual member of staff, except under exceptional circumstances such as a publication is very and not available to buy, even second hand
  • items borrowed on Inter-Library loan either form the British Library, another HEI, FEI or NHS library
  • privilege copies held by the Library acquired from another library, including the British Library

Collaborative arrangements with other libraries

Sharing library facilities

If the Library shares facilities with a partner organisation, for example another HEI, FEI or an NHS Trust, its important any item used as a source copy is owned by the University and NOT the partner organisation. Conversely, a partner organisation CANNOT use publications owned by ourselves as source copies.

Sharing digital copies

A digital copy can be supplied to another licenced HEI or FEI - or we can receive a digital copy from another licenced HEI or FEI -  provided that both institutions own or subscribe to the source publication. Any such copy must be treated as if made here at the University.

Note: neither ourselves or another licenced institution can create a repository of digital copies.


Who can copies be made available to?

Copies can be made available to:

  • any authorised person, such as a member of staff or student of the University, associated with a particular course or module
  • digital copies should not be downloaded or printed out except by a student enrolled on a named course or member of staff involved in teaching it
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