During your studies you will want to copy or download third-party materials such as book chapters, journal articles and images. This material is likely to be covered by UK copyright law, which limits the amount of material that you can legally copy. New technologies also facilitate the copying and sharing of content online, making copyright infringement commonplace.
Fortunately, there are some things under the current law that allow you to copy for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study within reasonable limits, under what is known as 'fair dealing'. This generally permits you to make single copies of small amounts of a copyright work.
Copyright protection is automatic as soon as there is a record in any form of what has been created; there is no official registration of copyright. However, you can take steps to provide evidence that you created a work at a particular time.
A useful step to take when publishing copyright material is to mark it with the international copyright symbol © followed by your name and the year of creation. You might consider putting a similar marking on the material on your website, if you have one.
A correctly worded notice will also deter infringement, as it states that the work is protected under law. Displaying a notice shows that you have an awareness of copyright, and that you take infringements of your work seriously. You could also watermark material such as documents and photos.
If you are interested in commercially developing your IP, it is critical to first protect it before making any disclosures. University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) can help with this; contact them for more information.
There is no exact percentage of the 'limited' amount you can copy under fair dealing exceptions such as non-commercial research and private study, however below is some guidance on what would be considered fair:
All disabled people are now covered by the legislation where their impairment affects their ability to study or work on an equal basis as someone without impairment.
All copyright work can now be altered to an appropriate format, as long as suitable accessible copies are not available for purchase.
This may include:
Further advice is available from the Library Disability Support Team.
Yes, as long as it is for your own non-commercial research or private study. There are no restrictions on changing the format of the copyright work provided the copying is fair. You must not make a copy and then send to other individuals.
Creative commons is a way of licensing material to protect some of the rights, rather than copyright which protects the work entirely. You can find out more about the Creative Commons movement and the licences on the CC website. So for example some people are happy to allow you to re-use their work (e.g. an image, a video) if it’s for a non-commercial purpose and if you give them credit. You can search for material licensed under different types of Creative Commons licences using the Creative commons search.
The law allows you to include copied material for your assessed work, even if you need to provide more than one copy of your work for your tutors. However, you must always include appropriate acknowledgement.
The legal permission to copy for assessed work does not extend to making your work publically available in any way, such as via publication, display or exhibition. You must obtain written permission from the rights holder before you make the work available to the public.
Yes. Your essays, emails, exam scripts, dissertations and other original material you create in the form of projects or assignments all constitute copyright material. You are the rights holder, but the University requires you to submit copies for the purpose of marking and assessment, and may require you to deposit copies of material in a departmental collection or the University Library.
Yes. The University’s IP policy states that students own their own IP (this includes copyright) unless the University has contracted with an outside body (eg an industrial sponsor) where the outside body has a claim on the IP and the student is required to assign the IP to the University.
The policy also states that students grant the University a continuing licence to use students’ work created in the course of their studies with the University for the administrative, promotional, educational and teaching purposes of the University.
There are loads of free image sites you can use. Most are free to use for non-commercial purposes, so you just need to attribute the image correctly. We provide a comprehensive list of free images sites on the further information page.
The University of Manchester defines plagiarism as:
Presenting the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. It also includes ‘self plagiarism’ which occurs where, for example, you submit work that you have presented for assessment on a previous occasion.
When using extracts of a copyright work you must make sure you fully attribute/reference it correctly, otherwise you could be accused of plagiarism.
More information on plagiarism:
Yes, but only if the use is fair.
The use must be limited to what is necessary for the purpose of your work, and it must not negatively impact on the market for the original work. This may mean limiting copying to shorter extracts of a work. For further advice on this contact the Copyright Guidance Service.
The amounts that can be copied under UK copyright law are not strictly defined. However, the following limits are generally assumed to be acceptable:
We live in a world where anybody with a computer or mobile device can be a creator, publisher and aggregator of content; this presents new challenges for copyright. The casual nature of social media can promote a relaxed attitude to rights issues. However, the laws regarding copyright and other intellectual property rights still apply.
When using any social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, be aware of the following points.
Maybe, remember unless otherwise stated, ALL material on the internet is protected by copyright; this includes images.
However, it may be possible to copy images without infringing copyright if they are being used for one of the following safe purposes:
Yes. Although you continue to own the copyright of your photographs, by adding them to social media sites such as Facebook, you agree to license your content to be hosted and used in specific ways set out in the terms of service. This could mean companies using your content for commercial purposes and without your permission.
No. As a student you are allowed to make a single copy of a journal article for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study. However, sharing the document with others via any means, including social media or cloud services such as Dropbox or One Drive, is a copyright infringement.
You should instead send them the link or source information to allow them to make a single copy themselves.
There are loads of free image sites you can use on the internet; visit the further information page for a list of sources.
A copy/version of a work which provides easier access for people with disabilities, for example Braille, large-print or audio version of a book produced for a visually impaired person. Further assistance is available from the Library Disability Support Team
A statement of the author and source of a work.
BoB is an off-air recording and media archive service which enables staff and students to choose and record any broadcast programme from 60+ TV and radio channels. The recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes.
The Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care (CHICC) provides a specialist service offering bespoke solutions to the digitisation and collection care of heritage and cultural collections.
A licensing body as defined by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 which licenses organisations to copy and re-use extracts from print and digital publications on behalf of the rights holders.
Our CLA licence covers the photocopying and scanning of most UK publications and some US and international publishers.
Details of excluded UK and US publishers, and included overseas countries, can be found at Copyright Licensing Agency website.
An intellectual property right which gives protection to the owner of the rights to an original work. This means that individuals who want to reproduce the original work of others may need to seek permission to do so.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and share. There are currently over 800 million works available via Creative Commons.
An expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work (the underlying work). The derivative work becomes a second, separate work independent in form from the first. The transformation, modification or adaptation of the work must be substantial and bear its author's personality to be original and thus protected by copyright.
Conversion of analogue information in any form (text, photographs, voice, etc.) to digital form. The Library offers a service to digitise resources included in reading lists and other teaching materials. For example, book chapters and journal articles can be scanned and the digitised copy then linked to course units in Blackboard.
Economic rights give the rights holder the opportunity to make commercial gain from the exploitation made of their works. It also allows an author to take action to claim compensation for and prevent infringing acts.
An organisation that provides licence schemes to member HE institutions to cover the use of recorded broadcast media in teaching and learning. The ERA Licence grants the right to record broadcasts for non-commercial educational purposes by making ERA Recordings.
The University of Manchester currently has an ERA Licence. This also allows licensed ERA Recordings to be accessed by students and teachers online from outside the premises of their establishment.
In certain circumstances, some works may be used if that use is considered to be 'fair dealing'. There is no strict definition of what this means but it has been interpreted by the courts on a number of occasions by looking at the economic impact of the use on the rights holder. Where the economic impact is not significant, the use may count as fair dealing.
The act of copying, distributing or adapting a work without permission.
An agreement that allows use of a work subject to conditions imposed by the rights holder.
Moral rights are concerned with the protection of the reputation of the author. In particular the right to be attributed for the creation of a work, and the right to object to defamatory treatment.
The NLA licence permits the photocopying and scanning of newspaper articles of all national newspapers and around 80% of local newspapers for the purposes of internal management, education and instruction.
The NLA licence allows:
The NLA licence does not allow:
Open Access (OA) means that items of scholarly work are made available online, in a digital format, at no charge to the reader and with limited restrictions on re-use.
A work in which copyright exists, but where the rights holder is either unknown or cannot be located.
The PRS licence - allows the performance of live music on University premises in the following circumstances:
Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are otherwise inapplicable.
The PPL licence - for the playing and performance of commercial music (restricted to designated areas within the University)
A person or organisation that owns the copyright of a work. This may be the original author, their relatives if deceased or, if they have assigned their copyright, it may be a publisher or other commercial entity purely associated with exploitation of the work.
The composition of printed material from movable type. Copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition expires 25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was first published.
The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (IP) – is the University’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation.
HEFCE’s OA policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.