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Copyright, Licensing and GDPR: Copyright for Teaching Staff

General Information

Various licences can help you to use printed and electronic copyright material safely in support of teaching and learning. Gain an overview of how best to use electronic resources and links in your DMU Resource List, and how to go about obtaining permission to use sources that are not covered by the law or by licence.

Copying from Newspapers

The licence permits us to copy and circulate cuttings from certain newspapers (i) for distribution to staff for internal use, and (ii) for distribution to students for their educational and instructional purposes.  For more information see the NLA Licence tab.

Essential Copyright Compliance for Academic Staff

Seeking and Administering Permissions

The Library is always happy to provide assistance with seeking copyright permissions, but if you choose to do this yourself, you should follow the guidelines below.

It is important to provide clarity for a copyright owner when seeking permission to copy. A lack of clarity will involve the recipient in additional work or uncertainty over their permission. This may well lead to a refusal (or lack of response). Make every effort to present information clearly so that owners are encouraged to co-operate.

To make the communication as effective and speedy as possible you should include:

  • Your contact information address, telephone and e-mail;
  • (For web-based content) the URL of the page in question or description of the content together with other identifying information such as titles or banners;
  • The intended use;
  • A description of the materials you wish to use;
  • The audience, e.g. registered students, external course;
  • The environment, e.g. classroom, open learning;
  • The number of copies and over what period;
  • If the use will generate an income; e.g. a commercial course;
  • Method of storage e.g. electronic or as a paper copy;
  • Method of distribution, a handout, information located on a web site.

Permission can only be granted by the copyright “owner”, who may not be the point of contact on the web. Request them to respond with the name of the copyright owner if not. It is best not to ask for the details of your request to be passed to the copyright owner direct. If you do this you may well lose trace of where the request is and who is responsible. Chasing a failure to respond could become very difficult.

Ensure that if you get clearance to copy that you have permission in writing and that it specifically refers to your declared proposed use or contains a set of conditions. A reassurance on the telephone is not sufficient. Keep the permission in a safe place so that you can refer to it if challenged. Include a statement on the copyright position of materials associated with the material itself either on the web site or on paper copies to show that you have permission.

Be aware that the “owner” of the site that you wish to copy from does not own all the material on it. They may have embedded pictures into text that they have produced. They may own the text and the rights to use the picture quite properly from another source. That does not mean that they have the right to allow you to reuse the picture.

Copying from Printed Books and Journals

There may be occasions when you wish to make multiple copies of book chapters and journal articles, for example, to give out to students in class, or to add to your DMU Resource List. In order to enable you to do this without infringing copyright, the University subscribes to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence. The licence permits the making of:

  • Multiple photocopies of limited extracts from printed sources covered by the licence (paper-to-paper);
  • Digital copies of limited extracts scanned from printed sources covered by the licence linked to the DMU Resource List. 
  • In all cases, copies may only be made from material licensed by the CLA, and the licence has strict limits on the quantity and type of material which may be copied. More information is available from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence tab.