Copyright Awareness

Copyright and educational resources

Copyright exists to make sure that creators are acknowledged for their works – being paid in some cases.

Most work that is created is covered by copyright or intellectual property rights

  • literary works - books, journal articles, newspaper columns, personal letters, emails, computer programmes, song lyrics, handouts and leaflets etc.
  • artistic works - paintings, photographs, illustrations, logos, maps etc.
  • musical works - compositions, recordings, performances, etc.

Copyright items must be original, ‘fixed’ and show skill/judgement by the creator or creators – but they don’t need to have been published, registered or marked with a copyright symbol ‘©’.

It is the variety of sources, and the terms under which they are supplied, that makes it difficult to know what is allowed, what is forbidden, and what can be done by negotiation, licence or exception.

What regulations govern copyright?

  • Statute law (e.g. The Copyright, designs and patents act, 1988 in the UK) gives copyright holders certain rights.
  • Rights granted by the law can be sold, inherited or given away, and often rights-holders make some or all rights available using licenses or permissions.
  • These licenses or permissions will give the terms under which the rights may be used, and detail the rights being given.
  • Where no license is available – or an available license is not purchased – the terms of the basic statute law apply.
  • ‘Making copies available’ is one of the rights reserved in law. To make copies available on Moodle or by supplying them to a class is not allowed by statute law, and can only be done if a license or other permission exists.

Which licences does Newman have?

Publishers’ licences (Journal collections, e-books and some specific services)

If the Library subscribes to or owns a digital version of an item, there is normally a licence. For:

  • a specific journal, the licence agreement with the journal publisher is the relevant one.
  • a journal database – such as Education Research Complete or Sport Discus – the license agreement with the database provider is the one to look at.
  • an e-book, it is the license with the platform host or publisher.

Check the Library’s Electronic resource licences page for details (or ask your academic service librarian).

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Licence (General books and journals)

We use the Copyright Licensing Agency’s Higher Education Licence for UUK/GuildHE members which largely covers photocopying and scanning of material. It is the relevant licence for most published materials that staff might hand out to their class or include on Moodle.

  • Broadly, you can copy:
    • Up to one chapter of a book
    • Up to one whole article from a single issue of a journal or set of conference proceedings
    • One short story or poem not exceeding 10 pages in length from an anthology
    • Or 10% of the whole publication
  • You may copy these items to distribute to each member of a class, together with the class tutor.
  • You may have a copy scanned to include on Moodle.
  • If a scanned copy is made from a print original, this is done for you by the Library. Further details can be found on the Scanning and copyright information page on the Library’s SharePoint site.
  • The CLA has a list of ‘exclusions’ – items and categories of material that cannot be used under the terms of this license. Some are surprising; for example you can’t use any of the works by the writer J.D. Salinger. You can find a list of publishers with exclusions at: and individual authors at: but you should also use the Check Permissions service, available throughout the CLA site, to check permissions for a specific item.
  • You can create a collection of licensed course materials in a study pack – electronically or in print. Further details are available on creating and using Course Packs.

NLA Licence (Newspapers)

• For occasional copying of newspaper articles
• We subscribe to the NLA Basic Licence which does not cover systematic copying – such as maintaining a press-cuttings or clippings collection.

Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence (Off-air recordings)

  • Allows you to record broadcasts from free-to-air broadcasters for use in teaching, including adding them to Moodle, or adding them to Library collections, and permits the use of catch-up services, such as All 4, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc.
  • Broadcasts must be recorded appropriately, and the recording must be appropriately labelled – either physically or electronically – with the date of the broadcast, the name of the broadcaster and the title of the programme, together with the words: ‘This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence’
  • The ERA maintains a FAQ ( and produces a guidance booklet (

What is a Creative Commons licence?

  • Creative Commons Licences, give explicit permissions for certain actions – such as copying, re-using or sharing. You will always need to credit the rights owner, and various limitations may be required, depending on which version of the licence the rights owner has chosen to use.

More information

For more information about copyright at Newman, please contact:

For more information about copyright in the UK, here are some helpful resources: