Understand

The following resources help you understand your rights as a creator, providing guidance on crucial copyright topics such as protection, licensing, access, lawful reuse, copyright exceptions and enforcement.

Rights & Permissions

Protecting

Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control the use of their work and the ability to earn from it. The term ‘exclusive’ in copyright law means…

Licensing & Exploiting

If you own the copyright in a work, you are free to exploit it on your own or license the use of it to another party (such as a book publisher). ‘Exploit’ in this context means to develop or make use of it.

Using & Reusing

When creating new work, it is natural to be inspired by the work of others. However, there is an important distinction between simply being inspired and unlawfully copying.

Getting Permission

When you want to use a work that is in copyright, you need to get permission from all copyright owners. Some works have several rights attached to them and each right may have more than one owner…

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions are a set of rules. These rules generally form a contract between you, the user, and the service provider, whose website you are visiting.

Legal Access

It does not matter whether you are dealing with a video clip, text, music, photos or computer icons, if you want to make sure your use is lawful, you need to have accessed that material legally.

Enforcement

Useful guidance on what you can do if you think someone has infringed your copyright, or if someone has accused you of copyright infringement.

Creative Commons

Works distributed under a Creative Commons licence are different from other copyrighted works, but they still attract copyright. The benefit of Creative Commons licensing is…

Exceptions

Quotation

There are two exceptions to be aware of, one specifically for criticism and review and a more general exception for quotation. Both exceptions apply to all types of copyright material…

Parody & Pastiche

Parody refers to a new creative work which uses an existing work for humour or mockery. Some parodies take aim at well-known artists or their work in order to make a critique.

News Reporting

News reporters may sometimes require the use of copyright material, such as short textual extracts or clips from video footage, to report current events. There is an exception to copyright for news reporting…

Libraries

This guide is aimed at the wide range of staff working in libraries and information services. Copyright exceptions apply equally to all staff working in libraries including library or information assistants.

Archives & Preservation

Archives are memory institutions. They hold unique documents and records that are vital for helping people connect with and understand their identities, their communities and their cultural heritage.

Disability

There are many situations where copyright can limit the way that people with disabilities access and make use of protected work. For example, a visually impaired user may need to convert the text of a book into a format compatible with screen reading software…

Research & Private Study

Students and researchers often need to make use of materials which are copyright protected. In the context of their research or study, they may have to make copies or use extracts of those materials.

Text & Data Mining

The electronic analysis of large amounts of copyright works allows researchers to discover patterns, trends and other useful information that cannot be detected through usual ‘human’ reading. This process, known as ‘text and data mining’…

Education

The use of materials protected by copyright is essential to the learning process. Educational resources exist in all formats that are recognised as ‘works’ in copyright law.

Orphan Works

A work – such as a book, a piece of music, a painting or a film – in which copyright exists, but where the copyright owner is either unknown or cannot be located is referred to as an ‘orphan work’.