BootcampCopyright: Using copyright

Copyright Bootcamp
Section 3 of 7

Using other people's copyright

Often within academic research and teaching, you may wish to use the work of others. For example, you might include a quotation from a book within a journal article or analyse a dataset created by someone else. Incidental inclusion of protected material is not an infringement e.g. if a photograph happens to show a person wearing branded clothing. However, you may need to reproduce someone else's work intentionally. There are several possible approaches:

If the creator of the work has granted a licence to it, the licence may give you permission to copy. Creative Commons licensing works in this way. Note that some Creative Commons licences place restrictions on what you can do with the work after you have copied it: for example, a work with a CC BY-NC-ND licence allows you to copy and redistribute the work, but not to alter or adapt it any way or to use it commercially. If you are not sure whether your use is commercial or whether what you want to do constitutes an adaptation, contact the Library Copyright Group or the University Secretary’s Office (academic staff only).

Ask permission
You might contact the copyright holder and ask for permission to use the work (for free). This is typical of peer-to-peer academic collaboration. You should write to or email the copyright owner, explaining exactly what you intend to do with the work. You should keep a copy of any permissions granted, in case they are later disputed. If you need to use part of a published work such as a journal article, bear in mind that the copyright will probably belong to the publisher rather than the named author.

Pay to use
You might pay the copyright holder for permission to use the work under a licence. The University has purchased some licences on your behalf. The most heavily used of these is the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence which allows you to make photocopies and digital copies of extracts from books, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings, law reports and magazines. For more information contact the Library Copyright Group or the University Secretary’s Office (academic staff only).

Copyright exceptions
You might use an 'exception' to copyright law. These are discussed later.

Do not use
Or you might decide to not use the work. To use a work which is covered by copyright, without the right to do so, risks committing an offence in law.

Whatever route you take to reproduce someone else’s work, be sure to attribute the work properly. Generally, your attribution should include the following elements: