Copyright is a right granted by law that gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works the ability to control ways their work is used and to earn a fair reward for that use. In the case of authors and publishers it provides a means for them to earn a living by writing and publishing. Copyright law also protects sound recordings and films (CDs, videos and DVDs) as well as computer software and broadcasts. Copyright is part of a family of intellectual property (IP) rights recognised under UK law. Other forms of IP that enjoy legal protection include Designs, Patents and Trademarks.
Copyright law in the UK is automatic and work is legally protected the moment it is created in material form, e.g. written down or recorded. The legal owner in the first instance is the creator (author) of the work. The main exception to this is when the work is created in the course of employment and in these cases the copyright usually belongs to the employer. Copyright protection in the UK generally lasts for 70 years following the death of the author.
The following is an example of a generic copyright statement that may be used with work generated during employment at the University of Exeter.
"Copyright of University of Exeter - © University of Exeter [year]. All rights reserved.
In many cases, it may be appropriate to append additional conditions, e.g. "Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited" and advice should be sought on a case-by-case basis from the University's IP manager about appropriate wording. Additional information about intellectual property rights and exploitation are available online in the University's Intellectual property policy.
At present, the University is a signatory to the following licensing agreements which allow, on the basis of annual payments, some extension of the limits imposed under UK statute law by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. These agreements are:
- Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) photocopying and scanning licence
- ERA+ licence: covering off-air recording
- NLA licence: covering copying from newspapers and use or press monitoring services
The Ordnance Survey have withdrawn their previous fee-based education licence "Reproduction of Ordnance Survey mapping for educational purposes". Educational establishments now need only accept the licensing terms and conditions (and pay any relevant fee) associated with the product and/or service that they are licensing, e.g. Edina, Digimap, in order to use OS materials for ‘Educational Use’ - meaning for the purpose of teaching, learning, educational or academic research and private study within an educational establishment. More detailed information on this new licensing regime is available online from Ordnance Survey.
The CLA licence is the most important licence for the purpose of teaching and learning as it grants permission for HEIs to make:
- Multiple photocopies of limited extracts sourced from printed books,journals and magazines (paper-to-paper)
- Digital Copies of limited extracts scanned from printed books, journals and magazines that may be stored in a course repository, downloaded and printed out (paper-to-digital-to-paper)
for delivery with reference to a cohort of students enrolled on a Course of Study.
Detailed information about this licence is available on the CLA website. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries relating to the licence. The separate photocopying and scanning sections provide further advice to help you use material within the scope of the licence.
For help relating to copyright issues arising from the use of multimedia in learning environments, use the free Copyright Toolkit. This online resource is aimed at the education sector and features background information about copyright law and a set of interactive exercises to help you understand the key points.