Copyright – an overview

Copyright applies to both paper and electronic resources.  All library resources are protected by copyright unless otherwise indicated.  Copying and downloading must be for research or private study only and not for commercial purposes (defined as direct or indirect financial gain) otherwise a copyright and administration fee will be payable.   Copies must be taken from the original published edition (paper or electronic).  You are entitled to ONE copy for your personal use, for the purposes of  private study and research.  There are limits to how much of a publication you may copy or download.  These are:

  • Books – one whole chapter or extracts totaling no more than 5% of the whole work
  • Journals/Periodicals – one article per issue
  • Conference proceedings – one paper or extracts totalling  no more than  5% of a set of conference proceedings

Audiovisual Resources A “reasonable” proportion of sound recordings, films and broadcasts  may be copied following changes to the legislation in 2014 but this is only permitted for non-commercial research and private study only.


Electronic Reading Lists The digital readings supplied in course packs may only be downloaded or printed by students enrolled on a specific course of study in the current academic year and the course tutors for that year.

Readings are made under the terms of the CLA Higher Education Licence.

Copies may be retained after the end of the course, but strictly for personal use.

For more information about our online reading list service please email library.

National Health Service CLA Licence

The NHS licence permits both digital ( including scanned items) and paper copies of licensed materials to be made and distributed, in hard copy or digital format by NHSnet or another secure password protected email for NHS purposes.

Find out more on the CLA NHS England licence. 

Social Media

While social media is an excellent tool for tutors and students in higher education it is important to be aware of the often complex legal issues which can arise from its use, particularly in the areas of copyright and data protection/e-privacy. The library recommends tutors and students read the following guidance developed by the universities of Leeds, York and Manchester, who have worked together, and with their students, to produce an interactive guide to social media.

Useful Links

opens in a new windowGet permission to use works and find out more about copyright via the Copyright Hub

Copyright Licensing Agency

Copyright and Visual Impairment 

Copyright in Web 2.0 – Web2Rights

opens in a new windowCreative Commons – find out how to share and re-use content legally.

opens in a new windowSearch for Creative Commons material.

Educational Recording Agency (ERA)

opens in a new windowERA supports the education sector by making it easy for schools, colleges and universities to harness the power of audio-visual broadcast material for non-commercial educational purposes.


Guidance to Guidance for ICT Use in Education, Research and External Engagement

Jisc Legal resources can now be found in the guides section of the Jisc website.

You can still access original Jisc Legal content via the UK Web Archive.

Copyright for Library Visitors and External Members

IMPORTANT NOTE ON COPYING: The European Directive on Copyright requires that any copying by visitors must be for non-commercial purposes, and not for direct or indirect financial gain, otherwise a copyright and administration fee of £12 per article/extract in addition to the photocopying charge will be incurred. For more information about copyright please email the library.

Always check with a member of library staff if you are unsure about what you can copy or download.

The Tavistock and Portman