BootcampCopyright: Exceptions to copyright

Copyright Bootcamp
Section 5 of 7

Exceptions to copyright
There are exceptions to copyright law that will allow you to carry out copying in particular circumstances. Usually these will expect the amount you copy to be limited (sufficient to meet your needs) and for the source of the work to be acknowledged, if possible. Not acknowledging a known source would risk plagiarism as well as an infringement of copyright.

Research & private study
There is an exemption which allows limited copying (e.g. a short extract of a work) to be copied for the purposes of  'research or private study'. Copying should be limited to a small proportion of a total work and the use restricted to non-commercial research or private study. Figures and diagrams are generally considered works in their own right rather than a portion of another work. For more information on this exceptions see Copyright User.

Education and teaching
This exception permits copying 'for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction'. Importantly, it can only be used in the absence of a relevant educational licensing scheme. This means that, if a scheme has been set up to license the use of material by educational establishments (e.g the CLA scheme) then this exception cannot be used. This exception allows a teacher to include copyright material within a formal lesson or an examination question. For more information on this exception see Copyright User.

Quotation, criticism and review
In the course of a review, a reviewer can include examples of a work. Similarly, extracts of copyright works can be used without permission for quotation, such as using a quote in an academic article. You may be able to including a substantial part of a protected work, if you need to do so in order to criticise or review that work. For more information on this exception see Copyright User.

Text and data mining for non-commercial research
An exception to copyright exists which allows researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to access the work. This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research. For more information on this exception see Copyright User.

Exceptions for disability
This exception allows you, or someone acting on your behalf, to make a copy of a lawfully obtained copyright work in a format that helps you to access the material. This exception assumes a copy that would be accessible to you is not already commercially available. The same exception permits educational establishments and charity organisations to make accessible copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. For more information on this exception see Copyright User.

These are the exceptions which are most often user within education and research. However, there are others. See Copyright User and the Intellectual Property Office for further details.

Exceptions and 'fair dealing'
Many of the exceptions described above rely on the idea of 'fair dealing'. Fair dealing involves not copying more of a work than you need to and not damaging the copyright holder's ability to commercially exploit the work. The latter is tied to how you intend to use or disseminate your copy of the work. Making a copy of a protected image, for example, and using it privately, as part of your own research, should be covered under the Research & private study exception discussed above. In this case your risk of infringing copyright would be very low.

However, it's very important to think ahead, beyond your immediate needs. Would you like to include the image in a published article, a project blog post or share it with colleagues? These uses may be seen as going beyond research and private study and they could impact on the copyright holder's ability to commercially exploit the work. Your risk of infringing copyright would be higher.