The Library



The Copyright Clearance Service based in Libraries and Learning Innovation offers guidance for staff and students who wish to use copyright protected works.

These pages will help you understand some of the copyright issues which may affect teaching and learning within the University.

What is copyright?

Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, as well as layouts of published works, computer programs and databases, sound recordings, film and broadcast.

Copyright does not protect ideas; it protects the expression of ideas and arises automatically once they are fixed in a permanent form.

The creator or copyright holder of a work has the exclusive right to:

  • copy the work
  • issue copies of the work to the public
  • perform, show or play the work to the public
  • communicate the work to the public (via broadcast or electronic transmission)
  • make an adaptation of the work

Except under certain circumstances, you should only copy or use a work protected by copyright with the copyright holder’s permission.

Get started with Copyright

Course for Lecturers

This is a free and relevant interactive course to help lecturers comply with copyright. Register on the website for free to complete the course and get further information. Although Jisc Legal is now closed the course remains active.

Copyright Aware

This is beginner’s guide to copyright from the BBC, using text, images and short videos to explore creating your own copyright, protecting your work and using other people’s work. 

Useful links

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
The official Government body responsible for Intellectual Property in the UK

Specific guidance on new copyright legislation from the IPO

Copyright User
An online resource aimed at making UK copyright law accessible to users. Includes videos and practical examples

The Content Map
A central hub to help you legally access films, TV, music, eBooks, sports and games online

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Check Permissions
​A simple search tool to check whether you can copy a text under the University's CLA licence (select Higher Education Permissions). Please note that scanning is only licensed via the Digitisation Service

Please note

Although the guidance provided does not represent legal advice, it is based on the most current information available.