Internal, open access

FAQs - Copyright

Here are some commonly asked questions about copyright:

Audiovisual Material

May I show clips from on demand services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD in lectures and seminars?

May I show films and television programmes in lectures and seminars?

May I use content from YouTube on Blackboard or in lectures?

May I upload a programme to Blackboard that I've paid to download from iTunes or similar?

May I upload a film that I've bought on DVD to Blackboard?

May I upload a television programme to YouTube?

May I put a short film from one of the Library's electronic databases into Blackboard?

May I record a film or television programme from a television broadcast for use in class?

Images

May I use any image from the Internet in my presentation or on my web pages?

Where can I find copyright-free material on the Web?

There's a book in the Library with some images in it that I want to photocopy and scan into Blackboard and my presentation for teaching - can I do this?

Where is the copyright in a photograph of a copyrighted painting?

When you see the phrase: "All rights reserved" - does this mean I can use it?

May I use copyrighted images in my essay / report / dissertation / thesis?

Do I need permission to use images in a short film?

Permission & Consent

Using photographic images of people: When do I need consent?

When someone allows me to use their material, should I keep their permission / consent forms?

I emailed an artist and asked for their permission to use an image from their website. They have not responded. Does this mean I can use it anyway?

Ownership of Copyright

Do students own the copyright in their work?

Do staff own the copyright in the work they do?

 

May I show clips from on demand services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD in lectures and seminars?

Yes, provided the clips are for educational rather than illustrative or entertainment purposes

May I show films and television programmes in lectures and seminars?

Yes, as long as they are being shown for educational purposes only (i.e. not entertainment) to an audience of teaching staff and students. You do not need a special licence to do this as it's a defence under the Copyright Act.

May I use content from YouTube on Blackboard or in lectures?

Yes as long as you link to it correctly by either providing the hyperlink or correctly embedding the code given by YouTube. If you suspect any content to be illegally uploaded to YouTube (e.g. DVD quality of the latest series of Lost), avoid linking to it.

May I upload a programme to Blackboard that I've paid to download from iTunes or similar?

No, you must not upload commercial television programmes or films to Blackboard that you have paid to download unless you have specific permission from the copyright owner to do so. This type of permission will usually be costly and extremely difficult to obtain.

May I upload a film that I've bought on DVD to Blackboard?

No. You must have permission from the copyright holder. The University does not currently hold a licence which would enable us to upload films which have been broadcast on television in the UK to Blackboard. If you would like to register your interest in whether you think the University should upgrade to this licence, please email the Copyright Officer.

May I upload a television programme to YouTube?

No - this would be copyright infringement unless you have cleared all the rights in the programme first and gained permission from the broadcaster.

May I put a short film from one of the Library's electronic databases into Blackboard?

Some databases will allow you to do this - see the database licence or terms and conditions for more details or contact your liaison librarian.

May I record a film or television programme from a television broadcast for use in class?

The ERA licence allows staff to record programmes and broadcasts from set channels for educational purposes. Open University programmes are covered under a separate licence

May I use any image from the Internet in my presentation or on my web pages?

No - it is a common misconception that all images on the Internet are free, but they are not. Look for images which have a Creative Commons licence attached to them or look in the University's ImageBank. You must ask for permission to use any images which are labelled 'all rights reserved' or which do not have any licence attached to them. Also remember to credit the creator of the image appropriately and where necessary.

Where can I find copyright-free material on the Web?

There are a number of copyright and royalty-free images, sound recordings and video on the Web, but you must check the terms and conditions of the website and/or object before you use anything. There is a list of sites available here http://copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com/ to get you started.

There's a book in the Library with some images in it that I want to photocopy and scan into Blackboard and my presentation for teaching - can I do this?

Photocopying: yes, as long as the book does not have a notice in the front which says that they haven't granted a licence to the CLA for the use of this work, you may photocopy and make multiple copies of up to 5% or one chapter of the book for educational non-commercial purposes.

Scanning: there are a lot of restrictions on scanning of works to use in Blackboard - consult the Library who offer a free scanning service and will be able to clear the use of this for you. You may however scan individual images for use in your teaching presentation as long as the purpose is for criticism and review.

Where is the copyright in a photograph of a copyrighted painting?

The photographer always owns the copyright of the photograph taken. However, when taking pictures of copyrighted items which are not permanently situated in one place you will need permission from the copyright owner of those items. In this situation, you would need the permission of the copyright owner to photograph the work.

When you see the phrase: "All rights reserved" - does this mean I can use it?

No - this means that the copyright owner does not want you to do anything with their image without their express permission.

May I use copyrighted images in my essay / report / dissertation / thesis?

Yes - you don't need permission from the copyright holder to use images or any other copyrighted content (with the exception of musical works) in any piece of work you do which is examined. Please note however that if you are planning on publishing or making your thesis available on the Web, you will need to seek permission to use copyright materials that you have included in your work, as the legal exception only applies for the examination and not the subsequent re-use.

Do I need permission to use images in a short film?

If the images are not licensed for re-use then you will need to get permission from the copyright owner / photographer before using them in the film. The only exception to this rule is if the film is being made for the purposes of examination and assessment.

Using photographic images of people: when do I need consent?

Signed written consent is required from individuals who are the subject of a photograph if you want to use the images commercially. This includes the public-facing webpages of the University website, the University prospectus, any marketing or advertising materials, and any content you use the image in which you then sell (for example, a book). The University has a consent form for individuals whose images will be used on the website or for marketing purposes to sign.   

You do not need written consent from each individual in the photograph if you take pictures of groups, take pictures of people at public events, take pictures of crowd scenes, or take pictures of people for editorial purposes such as news reporting. You also do not require written consent if you intend to use or publish images for purely personal or non-commercial purposes (for example, you may upload images to Flickr but not licence them to a commercial organisation). It is courteous to get verbal consent if you are taking pictures of just one or two people.

When someone allows me to use their material, should I keep their permission / consent forms?

Yes. Staff who collect consent from individuals for University projects (e.g. prospectus photo shoots, audiovisual projects for Mediasite or iTunes U) should send completed consent forms (these are available to download in the 'Things to Do Now' section) to the Copyright & Compliance Officer. All other copyright permissions must be retained by you for as long as the item exists.

I emailed an artist and asked for their permission to use an image from their website. They have not responded. Does this mean I can use it anyway?

No! No response does not automatically give you the right to use an item. Try sending a follow-up email, make a telephone call (if possible), and if everything fails try to find an alternative. If you are critiquing it for an assignment or thesis, make sure you properly accredit it and if you submit your thesis for digitisation you should make a note to omit this image from the process.

Do students own the copyright in their work?

Yes, always. There are circumstances where the University will require a student to assign their intellectual property in writing to the University before, during or after the course of studies. These can include situations such as the specific terms of a project contract, a student working in collaboration with University staff where the intellectual property generated by the student is needed to enable the use of the entire technology, or where a student is keen to work with the University to exploit their intellectual property and the University agrees to do so. See the University's Code of Practice on Intellectual Property for further information.

Do staff own the copyright in the work they do?

No - under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, employers own the intellectual property created by their employees in the normal course of their employment. However, the University of Reading takes a pragmatic approach to material created by staff and does not assert its ownership to everything. The University's Code of Practice on Intellectual Property sets out exactly what the University does and does not claim ownership of with regards to copyright - please read this or contact Academic and Legal Services for further details.

Things to do now

Contact the Copyright & Compliance Officer

Download the Permissions request template

Download the Consent Form

Page navigation

 

Search Form

A-Z lists