Copyright is a complex and constantly evolving legislative area, so the information here is intended to provide just a basic introduction to the principles of copyright and the way they operate in libraries. The information is not a definitive legal opinion.

You may also wish to read information on the following:

Copying limits

These guidelines cover:

  • photocopying
  • printing
  • scanning
  • downloading of material

Images, data and text that are in electronic form are also protected by copyright.

You can copy material if one of the following applies:

  • you own the copyright yourself
  • you have the permission of the person who owns the copyright
  • the material is "out of copyright"
  • the University holds a licence which permits the copying you want to carry out
  • you are copying within the accepted limits of fair dealing. "Fair dealing" covers copying for private study that has no direct or indirect commercial purpose, or for research with a non-commercial purpose.

The amount you can copy is not precisely defined by law, but it is generally accepted as including:

  • Up to 10% or one complete chapter (whichever is greater) from a book
  • One whole article (whichever is greater) from a single issue of a journal
  • Up to 10% or one paper (whichever is greater) from a set of conference proceedings

Copying and printing e-books

Most e-books are subject to copyright, so you may only print or download small sections. As a rough guide, about one chapter is usually acceptable.

You may not print or download a whole e-book. Attempts to do so can be monitored and are a breach of copyright law and the University regulations.

More information