Summary of changes to UK copyright law from 1st June

May 27th, 2014 at 08:05

Changes to copyright law come into force on 1st June 2014 that will be of particular interest to everyone in Universities because the amendments will extend the exceptions granted for use in education and teaching, extending exceptions across a wider range of formats.

In summary:

Showing copyright works: A film or sound recording may be shown for the purposes of instruction to an audience of teachers and students on university premises.

(s.32) Instruction: The fair dealing exception ‘for the purpose of illustration’ allows lecturers to copy ‘a small amount’ of material where necessary to illustrate a teaching point (including for examinations). This exception now applies to music and video as well as to text.

The use must be for non-commercial purposes and must be sufficiently acknowledged.

(s.36) Criticism and review: Rights holder’s permission is not required where a short extract is used to support or illustrate criticism of the work, or as part of a review of the work. The use must be seen to be ‘fair dealing’ and acknowledgement of the work is required.

Fair Dealing: The definition of fair dealing is subject to interpretation. A good guide is that if the use would not affect sales, and is ‘reasonable and appropriate’ it would be considered fair.

To avoid copyright infringement, it is good practice to use materials which are out of copyright or available under an open licence.

To find out more:

1. JISC legal have provided a short practical online course called ‘Copyright training for University Lecturers’ that should take less than an hour to complete.

2. Jisc Legal is also offering a series of twenty minute online events on this subject: Copyright Changes ‘Need-to-Know’ Webinar (Repeated on Tuesday 27 May [2pm – 3pm], Thursday 29 May [10am – 11am] )

The sessions provide a quick run through of the changes to copyright and why they matter, concentrating on real, day-to-day teaching and learning scenarios. Live chat will be available following each session where you can put your questions directly afterwards. The webinar will be an embedded YouTube streamed video on the Jisc Legal website. We will also use Blackboard Collaborate for the live chat following the ‘Need-to-Know’ sessions. Blackboard Collaborate requires a user to login. Users will also need to have the latest version of Java installed on their PC/Laptop – check your settings here:

The webinar will not require registration, to participate in the webinar, simply visit shortly before start time on your chosen session.

The University of Nottingham holds an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Plus licence which allows recording of broadcasts made in the UK by ERA members. This content can be recorded via the Box of Broadcasts (BoB) system ( More information about BoB and instructions for use may be found here:

If you have any specific queries about copyright please email

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