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Guidelines for Photocopying for Staff and Students

Copyright law prohibits copying someone else's copyright material unless (i) you have their permission, or (ii) it falls within the limits allowed for "fair dealing". If you break this law YOU could be sued for damages. You would also be in breach of the University's Regulations and subject to disciplinary action.

Some publishers grant permission for educational copying, which may be indicated on the work itself, although you must be careful to comply with any conditions. Otherwise, copying is only allowed within "fair dealing" limits. There is no precise definition of what is "fair", but it depends on (i) the proportion of the original that is copied, and (ii) whether the copying competes with a use the copyright-owner might make. Short extracts of a work may be copied for the purposes of criticism or review provided the original is sufficiently acknowledged. "Fair dealing" with a work other than a photograph is allowed for the purpose of reporting current events, also if sufficiently acknowledged, but this does not include a newsworthy matter of history.

Single Copies for Private Study or Research

This is the type of "fair dealing" mainly relevant to the University. For most published works, long-established practice suggests that for these purposes you may copy 5% of a work, or:

  1. One complete chapter of a book;
  2. One article per issue of a journal or set of conference proceedings;
  3. Up to 10% (maximum of 20 pages) per short book (without chapters), report, pamphlet or Standard Specification;
  4. One poem or short story (maximum of 10 pages) from an anthology;
  5. One separate illustration or map up to A4 size (but illustrations which are an integral part of articles/chapters may be included in categories 1 and 2 above);
  6. Short excerpts only from musical works (not whole works or movements) and no copying for performance purposes.

Fair dealing does NOT apply to repeat copying from the same work which exceeds these limits, or to copying for someone else if it is likely to result in copies of substantially the same material being provided to more than one person at substantially the same time and for substantially the same purpose (see separate guidelines for Multiple Copying, below).

This is only intended as a brief summary of the law, and much may depend on specific circumstances. If in doubt, please seek advice (e.g. from the Copyright Licensing Agency; Academic Affairs; Departmental Copyright Officers; the University Library (on copyright issues affecting library services and policies)).

Multiple Copies

A Licence issued to the University by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) permits reprographic copying (onto paper from paper) of multiple copies by or for the benefit of University staff and students only. It is extremely important that the conditions of this CLA Licence should be observed, as breach could lead to its termination (and other adverse consequences for individuals and the University), to the detriment of all.

The following are the basic provisions of the CLA Licence.

The CLA Licence does NOT cover scanning, nor electronic downloads; these are either governed by other specific agreements or licences, or may require writing to all copyright-owners (which may include all authors, publishers, type-setters, illustrators etc., as copyright may be owned simultaneously by several individuals and/or companies) for written prior permission for use, and paying any fee required by the copyright-owners BUT NOTE THE NEW HERON SERVICE REFERRED TO BELOW.

The CLA Licence states that copies may be only be made from Licensed Material, published in the UK or the Mandating Territories (which include most English-speaking countries and most of Europe), apart from items in the List of Excluded Works. In the case of Works published in the US, only the Participating US Publishers are included. The lists of US Publishers, Mandating Territories and Excluded Works and other information are available on the CLA website:

The CLA Licence does NOT cover the following categories of works: (i) printed music (including the words); (ii) maps, charts or books of tables; (iii) texts of public examination papers whether published individually or in collections; (iv) workbooks, work cards and assignment sheets; (v) privately owned documents issued for tuition purposes and limited to clientele who pay fees; (vi) bibles, liturgical works, orders of service; (vii) newspapers (for which a licence is available from the Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd); (viii) industrial house journals and other free publications primarily for employees of commercial businesses, industrial undertakings or public services; (ix) any work on which the copyright owner has expressly and prominently stipulated that it may not be copied under the Licence.

The CLA Licence DOES cover copying for all University courses (except short-term courses delivered on a cost-recovery basis and in return for a fee and which are not included in the UCAS brochure).

In relation to each discrete course (e.g. a unit or module) the proportion of any one source of Licensed Material which may be copied must not exceed either singly or in aggregate the greater of 5% of any published edition, or

  1. in the case of a book one complete chapter;
  2. in the case of an article in an issue of a serial publication or in a set of conference proceedings, one whole article;
  3. in the case of an anthology of short stories or poems one short story or poem not exceeding ten (10) pages in length;
  4. in the case of a published report of judicial proceedings, the entire report of a single case.

No systematic or repeat copying beyond these limits is allowed. You may make only enough copies to ensure that each student and teacher involved in the course has one copy. Special provisions apply to copying for partially-sighted persons.

Multiple Copies may be made from a Copy (i.e. not directly from the printed work) PROVIDED THAT (i) the University owns the printed work, or (ii) the copy has been obtained copyright-fee-paid from the British Library Document Supply Centre (or similar service) with the cover sheet attached; or (iii) you have the specific prior permission of all copyright owners in writing, plus a receipt for payment of any fee charged by them, and can produce these on request if the CLA or the copyright owners require it.

Higher Education Resources On-Demand (HERON) Service

However, please note that, in relation to copyright and teaching more generally, the University is a member of the Higher Education Resources On-Demand scheme (HERON). Its website states that it offers a national service to the UK Higher Education community for copyright clearance, digitisation and delivery of book extracts and journal articles. It is also developing a resource bank of digitised materials for rapid re-use (subject to copyright permissions). HERON also offers its subscribers experience and strength in negotiations with publishers and other rightsholders. Please refer to, or contact the Main Library directly (Ms D Jackson, or ext. 4309), for more information on this excellent scheme.

[Adapted with kind permission from national guidance notes prepared by copyright expert Professor Sol Picciotto and others. This is the final version at 4 June 2002]

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