Copyright is an important consideration when making any third-party material available to your students. You need to know what you can use, how you can use it and what you can’t use. Unfortunately, this is not always straightforward and sometimes there will be an element of interpretation and risk. This is where we come in: we realise that copyright can often feel quite restrictive, especially within education, however our guidance is designed to help you to develop quality teaching materials without adding to your already busy workload.
Current copyright law seeks to strike a balance between the rights of the rights holder to control how their work is used, and the right to reuse in certain circumstances. It does this by providing some useful exceptions that allow you to copy and use work without having to worry about infringement. In addition, the University also holds a number of licences that allow you to copy material for your teaching, such as the CLA and ERA licences
This section will look at the different types of content you may wish to use in your teaching materials, and provide guidance and some FAQs to help you reuse other people's stuff and develop high-quality teaching materials whilst remaining copyright compliant. We have also developed a series of blog posts providing guidance on using different types of materials in your teaching.
If you can’t find the answer that you’re looking for, or if you want further help, please contact us.
The University is the first owner of the rights of any work made in the course of your employment, unless you’ve made an agreement to the contrary.
Responsibility for any infringement of copyright rests with the person making the copy.
Although the University has a responsibility to ensure that staff and students are aware of copyright and comply with the law, it remains the responsibility of the person making the copy to ensure they do not infringe copyright. Guidelines and notices are available in all libraries (next to photocopiers) explaining the current regulations.
For the institution:
Strictly speaking, in accordance with our IP policy a licence will already have been granted by the students to use their work for the educational/teaching purposes. However, your students are unlikely to be aware of this, so it would be courteous to seek permission from the students prior to circulating their work.
It would also be good practice to ask your students whether they wish to be credited for their work, or if they prefer their work to be anonymised. If your students want to be credited, we would recommend that they copyright their work [© Student’s Name, 2016. All rights reserved]. This should reduce the risk of their work being copied by other students.
Definitely not! Getting no response does not automatically give you the right to use an item. Try sending a follow-up email, make a telephone call (if possible), or send a letter. Always make it clear that your request is for educational rather than commercial purposes.
If everything else fails, try to find an alternative. Permissions template.
As long as the use of the material is for the purposes of ‘illustration for instruction’, there is no reason that lecture capture technology cannot be used to record a lecture which includes third-party material. The work must be sufficiently acknowledged, and the copying must be fair. A recorded lecture available via Blackboard is more likely to be seen as fair than a recording made available openly online.
Video, sound, music and broadcasts are all subject to strict copyright conditions, so you need to take care when using them in your teaching materials.
Our ERA Licence allows you to use recorded broadcast media in a teaching and learning environment, including providing remote access to students and staff online (eg via Blackboard).
Other sources of broadcast material include the Box of Broadcasts service (BoB) and various on demand services including BBC iPlayer and 4oD. You may watch & listen to streamed videos/audio for educational and non-commercial use only within the United Kingdom; share and embed both programmes and clips into Blackboard and include full acknowledgement under the ERA Licensing scheme.
Always check the resource’s terms and conditions before use
YouTube is a valuable and popular source of videos but you should use it with care: many video are uploaded illegally without the rights holder’s permission. Best practice is to only use videos from official channels such as the BBC or Channel 4 using the YouTube player embed code provided. For more information, please read our guidance on using films and broadcasts in your teaching, especially if that teaching is online.
The use of music is very restrictive unless used in specific circumstances. For example, the University of Manchester has a Performing Rights Society Licence which allows music to be used to fulfil an official qualification.
Commercial music is an area where copyright is upheld very strictly, and you should avoid using it unless it’s absolutely essential. You may be able to play music in a standalone lecture for educational/instructional purposes, but you would need to gain permission from the rights holders if you wanted to add it to Blackboard. Getting permission to use commercial music will almost certainly prove expensive.
Yes, provided the purpose is illustration for instruction and the copying is fair. The use must be non-commercial and sufficiently acknowledged.
Live streaming or playing directly from a DVD is fine; storing the clip for future viewing isn’t.
No, you must have permission from the rights holder to do this.
Yes, provided the purpose is to illustrate a point, or for criticism and review. The copying must also be fair, so the clip should be no more than is required for the purpose intended, and be sufficiently acknowledged (see our information on fair dealing for more details).
In this case, who has access to the Blackboard space is a factor to be considered when assessing whether the use is fair. Restricting access to the learners who are enrolled on the particular course will support the contention that the use is fair.
Always be cautious when using YouTube, many video will have been uploaded to the site illegally and without the permission of the rights holder. You can use YouTube video from official channels, such as the BBC, as by uploading content they have given you a licence to use it for non-commercial purposes. Always use the embedding code for the YouTube player when uploading the video and check YouTube's Terms of Service
No, unless you have specific permission from the rights holder to do so. This type of permission will usually be costly and extremely difficult to obtain.
You may be able to use short extracts of music in teaching if it is for the purposes of illustration for instruction or criticism and review. The amount copied must be considered fair and have no impact commercially on the rights holder.
Otherwise, be very wary of using commercial music in teaching materials, especially if published on Blackboard or the web. You would almost certainly need permission from three parties: the composer, the music publisher and the record company. This means that obtaining the necessary permissions can be a bureaucratic and expensive process.
Most text-based material used in your teaching is likely to be subject to copyright restrictions. This includes photocopying or downloading material such as book chapters, journal articles or extracts of text.
The University has a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence that covers the photocopying and scanning of most UK publications, and some US and international publishers.
There are also exceptions within the law that can allow you to use text in your teaching materials. Fair dealing exceptions exist for a number of exceptions including criticism and review, illustration for instruction and quotation. Please read our blog post on Using Literary Works in your teaching.
No, you should not upload PDFs of papers directly to Blackboard.
Use the Library’s reading list service to ask for your teaching resources to be digitised. The Library can scan book chapters and journal articles, and you can link the digitised copy to your Blackboard course units.
Yes, this is allowed under the terms of our CLA licence.
You can put several items together in a course pack, but you should seek guidance if you plan to copy a significant number of chapters in this way: the CLA regard this as an attempt to recreate a textbook, which is not permitted under the terms of the licence.
Use the Library’s reading list service to ask for your teaching resources to be digitised.
Use the Library’s reading list service to ask for your teaching resources to be digitised.
On receiving your request for digitised material to be supplied to your students, the Library will:
All requests for digitisation must include the following:
Under the terms of the CLA licence, one chapter from a book, one article from a journal/magazine issue (or 10%, whichever is greater) can be digitised or copied in support of any one course module.
Only in certain circumstances can this limit be exceeded, for example if the different chapters/articles are being digitised in support of different course modules.
We would recommend linking to an OA article (using a DOI if possible), rather than uploading it as a PDF to Blackboard. This means that you don’t need to spend time working out which licence a paper has been published under to do this.
If you really want to upload PDFs of OA articles to Blackboard, the onus is on you to make sure that the article is licensed under a CC-0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND licence.
Some OA articles will be published under the publisher's own licences that are equivalent to CC licences. This can make checking the licence terms time consuming and tricky, so linking out to a paper is often may be easier.
For more help on using OA articles in teaching please contact the Copyright Guidance Service.
No, you cannot copy a PDF and upload it directly on to Blackboard as this constitutes making multiple copies. You can make the article available to your students by doing the following:
As with text-based material, many images that you will want to use in your teaching materials are likely to be subject to copyright. This includes photographs, diagrams and other illustrations, whether from printed or electronic sources.
Images contained in print sources which are covered by the University’s CLA Licence may be copied and included in a course pack or otherwise distributed to students. Such images can also be used in teaching materials, including those uploaded to BlackBoard.
Beware of images you find online; just because an image is available online doesn’t mean it is free to copy and use without the permission of the rights holder. If you do source images online, try and use Creative Commons licensed images, or images that are in the public domain where the copyright has expired.
When using third-party images, it is essential that you give a full acknowledgement or attribution of the source; this is always good academic practice anyway. For further guidance please read our blog posts on using images in your teaching and finding free to use images online.
Possibly, this may be covered by a number of copyright exceptions, such as ‘illustration for instruction’, 'quotation' and 'criticism and review', however the copying must be considered ‘fair’ in that it is limited and does not negatively impact on the market for the original materials.
The use needs to be fair dealing; this requires a judgement to be made, and every case is different. Where the amount copied is reasonable and appropriate to the context, it is likely that it can be considered fair dealing. Please contact us for more information.
Yes, the University's CLA licence cover the use of 'disembbeded images' in teaching materials, including book covers. This act is not something which needs to be reported under the terms of the licence.
In most situations the photographer owns the copyright of their photographs.
If the photographer is an employee and has taken the photographs as part of their normal duties, the employer would usually be the rights holder.
Photographs taken on or after 1 August 1989 are protected for the life of the photographer plus 70 years. Photographs taken before 1 August 1989 are subject to varying factors and exceptions. Contact the Copyright Guidance Service for advice.
Ordnance Survey usually allow the copying of an area of map roughly equivalent to A4 size. Ordnance Survey are very strict in regard to copyright, and we advise that you seek permission before making copies. Contact Ordnance Survey directly to ask permission.
When using Digimap or Google Maps always check their terms and conditions to ensure copyright compliance.
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. Use the Library’s reading list service to digitise teaching resources. 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 Innovation Factory (IF) – 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.