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Copyright Guide: Copyright for teaching

Copyright for teaching

This guide has been designed to help you use copyrighted material such as readings, images and video recordings when creating your teaching resources. Any copyrighted material needs to be covered by a university funded licence or a copyright exception in law, including the relatively recent "Illustration for instruction" exception. 

These frequently asked questions (FAQs) cover most questions that you might have starting out. There are further resources listed below that may help. If you’re still not sure about something and you would like some advice, you can use our chat service or book a 1:1 with a librarian.

You can use small extracts of copyrighted works in any medium for teaching purposes without obtaining permission from the copyright holder where the use is fair, ie, it must be used to illustrate a point, it can’t be used incidentally, it must not be done for commercial purposes, and it must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement. The amount used needs to be considered a minor use (eg, quoting some lines from a song or poetry on an interactive whiteboard) and not one which would undermine the sales of the resource.

Yes, you can share the same types of content with your students online via Blackboard that you would be allowed to use in a lecture theatre, if the use is fair, ie, it must be used to illustrate a point, it can’t be used incidentally, it must not be done for commercial purposes, and it must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement. The amount used needs to be considered a minor use (eg, quoting some lines from a song or poetry on an interactive whiteboard) and not one which would undermine the sales of the resource.

You can add resources to your Talis reading list and request they be digitised for students on your module. The CLA licence allows us to make copies of material from digital and print books, magazines, journals and websites. You can copy up to one article, chapter or 10% of the total, whichever is greater, per module and share print copies with students and / or store copies on the Digital Content Store (DCS) for online access. Requests for resources should always be referred to the library. Our digitisation service includes full eligibility checks, recording and report to the CLA, which ensures we comply with the University's license when making resources available on Reading Lists and Blackboard.

Some websites are covered by our CLA Licence (check which ones here). Otherwise, materials on websites are covered by UK copyright law and the licence displayed on the website itself. Some websites display a Creative Commons licence which allow open sharing and some are copyrighted to the website author with accompanying Terms of Use, which you can check for permitted uses. Alternatively, you can link to an online resource, rather than sharing the content yourself. Be careful to link to official websites and channels rather than sites with content that has been uploaded illegally without the copyright owners permission.

The internet has made numerous images readily available, but you still need permission to use or copy them as they are generally protected by copyright. The "illustration for instruction" exception does not generally cover images as the exception covers the usage of part of a work, not all of it. The safest way to use images is to only use images which you either own, are from a copyright-free website or have a Creative Commons licence or a licence for use in education. See our reading list on Finding Open Content for links to open educational resources. Always check if you need to credit the copyright owner when re-using images. For further information on digital images, photographs and the internet see the Intellectual Property Office guidance.

As with other copyrighted works, you can use small extracts in any medium for teaching purposes without obtaining permission from the copyright holder where the use is fair, ie, it must be used to illustrate a point, it can’t be used incidentally, it must not be done for commercial purposes, and it must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement. For diagrams, the use needs to be considered a minor use and not one which would undermine the sales of the resource, so using a lower resolution image is more likely to be fair.

If we own the map, you can scan a small (A4 or less) section of a printed map and use it in your teaching. Where maps are available online, treat it like any other website and check the licence and / or terms and conditions of use to see if your use is permitted.

Our ERA (educational recording agency) licence allows us to use TV broadcasts for teaching and learning via online services like BBC i-player and ITV Hub or through a subscription service like BoB. BoB is an off-air recording and media archive service that contains recordings from over 65 free-to-air channels and has an extensive archive. Once you’ve logged in, you can create playlists of shows for your students and you can embed content on Blackboard.

We have an extensive DVD collection at Hartley library and there is a legal exception which allows you to show all of a film to students during lectures, as long as it is classroom specific and shown in the original format or on the platform chosen by the rights holder. We also have subscription services like BoB and Kanopy. BoB is an off-air recording and media archive service that contains recordings from over 65 free-to-air channels and has an extensive archive of films. Once you’ve logged in, you can create playlists of shows for your students and you can embed content on Blackboard. Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities that offers films and documentaries. The service includes features such as captions, transcripts, clip creation, and playlist creation that allow users to share videos.

You can play musical sound recordings in class as long as it is for the purposes of instruction. This is not deemed to be playing a work in public, for the purposes of copyright infringement. However, you cannot play music in class to set a mood, as this would not fall under the illustration for instruction exception.

In most teaching contexts, you can use material marked as non-commercial. Be careful if you are using this material for paid-for online courses or for websites, and check first that the licence allows this usage.

If a student requests their reading resources in a different format, they will need to contact the Student Disability and Inclusion team and have a Student Support Appointment with a Practitioner to determine what adjustments are needed. A Student Support Recommendations (SSR) document will be produced which will list the adjustments needed and will ensure that all copyright considerations are properly addressed and recorded. This document will be shared with the student and the faculty to facilitate the reasonable adjustment process. If you have any queries about digitising reading materials, please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk 

For further information on copyright exceptions for students with a disability see the Intellectual Property Office guidance.

The “illustration for instruction” exception allows lecturers to use copyrighted materials in examination papers where the use is fair, ie, it must be used to illustrate a point, it can’t be used incidentally, it must not be done for commercial purposes, and it must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement.

Further Resources

Exceptions to copyright - Guidance from the Intellectual Property Office on the exceptions to copyright that allow limited use of copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner:

Copyright user - An independent online resource aimed at making UK Copyright Law accessible to everyone.

Creative Commons - Enables the sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools and licenses.

 

Acknowledgement: this work, "Copyright for teaching", is based on content created by University of Kent Copyright Guidance by Morrison, Chris and Groth-Seary, Angela, used under CC BY 4.0.

Copyright Quiz