Internal, open access

Music, Sound Recordings and Radio

Playing music and sound recordings in class

You may play music in a lecture, seminar or tutorial as long as your audience only consists of academic staff and students and the music is for the purposes of instruction, according to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. The phrase "purposes of instruction" is difficult to interpret but is likely to also cover the playing of music to aid the learning process. If you want to play music, please ensure that it is from a legitimate source.

Copying music and sound recordings

You must not copy music and sound recordings unless you have the express written permission of the copyright holder (in most cases, the record/sound production company). You must also not upload your personal digital music to Blackboard or other areas of the Web. Sound recordings from a selection of radio broadcast stations can be made under the ERA licence - see Recording broadcasts using the ERA licence. Copies of sound recordings or music must not be used in examinations or assessment - originals only must be used.

Using music and sound in teaching and learning materials

If you want to include music and sound recordings in your internal teaching materials (including those on Blackboard), there are plenty of sources of copyright-free music and sound or licensed music and sound recordings that you do not need to pay to use. Please note that you may only be able to stream rather than download some resources, but in these instances you should provide a link instead.

Using music and sound in multimedia productions for the Web (excluding Blackboard)

If you want to use music and sound recordings in a media production that you wish to publish to the Web, for example on the University website or iTunes U, please see the Third Party Copyright section in Publishing AV material to the Web. More often than not, you will need permission from the copyright holder to include music and sound in your online productions. Most 'free' music and sound will be granted to you under the conditions of a licence, so you should always check licence agreements (or terms and conditions) to see whether you are allowed to use products in the way you intend. If you are in any doubt, please contact the Copyright & Compliance Officer for help.

Publishing to YouTube

It is advisable to use copyright-free music on videos which are uploaded to YouTube. If you use a popular song for which you have not got copyright permission, your video may be subject to a takedown notice by the record label and may be removed. 

Radio broadcasts

For recording broadcasts from the radio, please see Recording broadcasts using the ERA licence. Please note that this type of recording is covered under the ERA licence and is subject to restrictions.

Page navigation


Search Form

A-Z lists