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Library

Copyright essentials

Your work and study at York St John University must be done with respect to copyright and intellectual property rights. Read on to learn about these rights and limitations.

What is copyright?

Copyright is part of a set of intellectual property rights that gives the creator of a work the exclusive rights to copy and distribute that work, and to make adaptations of it. Current UK copyright law is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

What is protected by copyright and for how long?

Copyright is an automatic right and applies to original works that are published or unpublished. Original means that the creator has contributed their own ideas or skills to the creation of the material. Copyright does not protect ideas or thoughts; they must be recorded or ‘fixed’ in some way.

Different types of material have different periods of copyright protection; expand the table below for details.

Literary works

  • Examples:
    Books, journal articles, poems, manuscripts, newspaper articles, song lyrics, letters, diaries, emails, webpages, conference papers, social media posts.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which the author or creator died. If the author is unknown, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was first created.

Dramatic works

  • Examples:
    Dance, mime, opera, musical theatre, choreography, stage directions.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which the author or creator died. If the author is unknown, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was first created.

Musical works

  • Examples:
    Notes on the stave e.g. scores.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which the author or creator died. If the author is unknown, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was first created.

Artistic works

  • Examples:
    Photography, paintings, illustrations, sketches, drawings, maps, diagrams, logos, clipart, graphics, fashion, jewellery, sculpture.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which the author or creator died. If the author is unknown, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the year in which the work was first created.

Music/Sound recordings

  • Examples:
    Vinyl, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s.

  • Duration of copyright:
    50 years from the end of the year in which the material was created. If it is published or made available to the public in that time, it is then 70 years from the end of the year in which it was made available or published.

Films

  • Examples:
    Videos, DVDs.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which the last of the following died:
    • Principal Director
    • Author of the screenplay
    • Author of the dialogue
    • Composer of the music created for and used in the film

Broadcasts

  • Examples:
    Radio transmissions, television programmes.

  • Duration of copyright:
    50 years from the end of the year in which the broadcast was first made.

Typography of published editions

  • Examples:
    The layout and style of text on a page e.g. a new edition of an out of copyright work.

  • Duration of copyright:
    25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was first published.

Computer-generated works

  • Examples:
    Works generated by a computer in circumstances such that no human author was responsible. For example, systems in which the user merely needs to hit "Start" to have the computer create the work.

  • Duration of copyright:
    70 years from the end of the year in which it was made.

Databases

  • Examples:
    Collections of data arranged in a systematic or methodical way e.g. catalogues.

  • Duration of copyright:
    15 years from the end of the year in which the database is completed. If the database is updated, then the 15-year period starts again.

Crown copyright

  • Examples:
    Works created by employees of the Crown in the course of their duties. Legislation, parliamentary papers, government reports, and other official material created by civil servants, ministers, and government departments and agencies.

  • Duration of copyright:
    125 years from the end of the year in which it was first created, or 50 years from the end of the year in which it was first commercially published.

Parliamentary copyright

  • Examples:
    Works commissioned by either or both Houses of Parliament.

  • Duration of copyright:
    50 years from the year in which the work was created.

Unpublished works

  • Examples:
    Theses, archival materials, letters.

  • Duration of copyright:
    If the author died on or after 1 January 1969, the material is in copyright until 70 years after their death. If the author died before 1 January 1969, then material is in copyright until 31 December 2039, with some exceptions.

 

Who owns copyright and how can you tell?

Copyright ownership depends on how the work was created and the format of the work. Ownership usually belongs to the creator of the work but there are exceptions where copyright ownership can be transferred, sold or waived.

Copyright can sometimes be identified by the use of a copyright symbol ©, but don’t assume that if the symbol is not used that a work is not covered by copyright.

If copyright owners cannot be identified or found, works are referred to as 'orphan works'.

Copyright exceptions

There are various exceptions included in UK copyright law that allow for the reuse of copyright material within education and research. Many of these are 'fair dealing' exceptions, and are based on the idea that reuse should be limited and fair.

Different use cases come with different sets of exceptions; expand the table below for details.

S29 – Research and private study

You may make single, limited copies for private study and non-commercial research. These copies are for individual use, subject to fair dealing, must not be shared on Moodle and cannot be circulated to others.
S29A – Text and data analysis for non-commercial research
You may copy works to which you have lawful access to for the purposes of text and data mining, but only for non-commercial research.

S30 – Quotation

You may copy a small amount of a work within fair dealing usage for the purposes of criticism, review and quotation.

S30A – Caricature, parody or pastiche

You may copy a small amount of a work within fair dealing usage for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche. The new work must display noticeable differences to the original, and laws of discrimination and libel still apply.

  • A caricature is a representation of a person that is exaggerated or simplified for comic effect.
  • A parody imitates or misrepresents somebody’s style, usually for humorous or satirical effect.
  • A pastiche is a composition drawn from various sources – usually a musical.

S31A – Accessible copies

You may make accessible copies of copyright works for the personal use of disabled people.

S32 – Illustration for instruction

You may reproduce small amounts of copyright works for the purpose of giving or receiving instruction.

S34 – Performing, playing or showing a work for educational purpose

You may perform, play or show a copyright work for the purpose of instruction in an educational establishment. Audience members can only include staff, students or people connected to the University.

S35 – Recording of broadcasts

You may record off-air broadcasts for students, which also covers transmission over a secure network. This only applies to broadcasts not covered by the University’s ERA licence.

S36 – Copying works for educational purposes

You may copy up to 5% of a work for classroom use - this covers multiple copies and scans. This only applies to items not covered by the University’s CLA licence and only 5% of a work can be copied by the University, within a 12-month period.

 

Fair dealing

Some copyright exceptions are subject to fair dealing. Fair dealing is a legal term that has no statutory definition. This means that each case will require a judgement to be made. A court would be asked to consider how an honest and fair-minded person would regard the use of the copyrighted material.

Copyright Licences

The University holds a number of licences to legitimise copying for educational use:

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Licence

The University subscribes to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Licence for Higher Education. The licence allows photocopying and scanning from books and journals, subject to the licence limits. In order to comply with the terms of the licence, Library & Learning Services offers a centralised scanning service; we will check copyright clearance, scan the items, store the PDF, and make the link available on your reading list. For further information about the service, visit our Digital Scanning Service webpage.

Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) Licence

The University holds an Education Establishment Basic Licence from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). This licence permits 'cuttings' to be made from print and online versions of national and regional newspapers.

Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence

The University holds an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence. This allows the recording and storage of television and radio programmes. Holding the ERA Licence allows the University to subscribe to Box of Broadcasts (BoB). This enables all staff and students to record broadcast programmes from over sixty television and radio channels.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons is a way of licensing materials that encourages reuse and sharing, whilst also allowing creators to retain some rights. Creative Commons offer six licences, and how people can use different works depends on which licence has been applied. Anyone can apply a Creative Commons licence to their work. Increasingly, research and educational resources are being released open-access with Creative Commons licences.

To review the six licences, expand the table below.

Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)

This licence allows people to use, share, remix and build upon a work so long as they credit the creator of the work.

Creative Commons Attribution, ShareAlike licence (CC BY-SA)

This licence allows people to use, share, remix and build upon a work so long as they credit the creator of the work, but they licence any new versions of the work under identical licence terms.

Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivatives licence (CC BY-ND)

This licence allows people to use and share a work so long as they credit the creator of the work, but they cannot change the work in anyway.

Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)

This licence allows people to use, share, remix and build upon a work so long as they credit the creator of the work, but they cannot use the work for commercial purposes.

Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike licence (CC BY-NC-SA)

This licence allows people to use, share, remix and build upon a work so long as they credit the creator of the work, but they cannot use the work for commercial purposes and they must licence any new versions of the work under identical licence terms.

Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND)

This licence allows people to use and share a work so long as they credit the creator of the work, but they cannot use the work for commercial purposes or change the work in anyway.

 

Copyright & Licences Officer

If you have any queries or require further guidance please contact Chloe Beswick, our Copyright and Licences Officer.

Chloe Beswick
Copyright and Licences Officer
E: c.beswick@yorksj.ac.uk
T: 01904 876057

 

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