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Copyright, How-To-Guide

While at LSBU, you will often need to use copyrighted works for your studies. Because copyrighted works have certain protections, you need to be aware of what you can and cannot copy and how to legally share other people's work. This page gives general advice for students on using resources for their studies and beyond. 

Copyright Defined

Using copyright works.

A creative work such as a book, journal article, of video, etc., becomes protected by copyright as soon as it has a permanent physical form. This means that any creative work that has been written down, recorded or saved is automatically the copyright of its creator. 

Only the creator has the right to say what can be done with their work. This may mean that you have to get the permission of the creator to use their work, if what you want to do is not covered by a copyright exceptions or licenses.  

Exceptions to Copyright

Copyright exceptions.

There are exceptions to copyright law which allow limited use of copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner.

The main exception for individuals is: “Fair Dealing”

Fair dealing is the right to reproduce limited portions of copyrighted works without permission. It covers reproduction of published material for:

non-commercial research and private study--this covers what you do at University!
•criticism and review
•reporting of current events

This allows you do do things like quote text from a book, journal article, or website to incorporate into your essay. Or you can use clips from a video to back up an argument. The important thing is that you only use what you need to explain your point, and nothing more. This ensures that the amount used is fair. 

You can also make copies of works for reading and studying, as long as that amount is also fair. 

In addition, if you have a disability, you can copy any copyright materials entirely for your own use, if your disability means that you can’t substantially enjoy them to the same amount as someone who doesn’t have that disability.

However, it is important to remember that you must always attribute your source. That is, you will always need to reference where you got the work from.

What students can copy

How much can you copy?

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act does not clearly define the amount of original material that can be copied, but it has been agreed that you can copy:

  • One article from any one issue of a journal
  • One chapter or up to 5% (whichever is greater) of a book
  • Up to 10% of a short book of up to 200 pages
  • One poem or short story of up to 10 pages from an anthology
  • One legal case report

You may make a copy for yourself and a single copy for another person. Fair dealing does not cover multiple photocopies. 


Copyright and Plagiarism

Is Copyright Infringement the same thing as Plagiarism?

The answer is NO.

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's work and claiming that it is your own by not referencing the source.

Copyright infringement happens when you copy or share someone else's work without their permission regardless of whether or not you have given them credit by providing a reference. 

This means that providing a reference to the author or source is not enough to avoid copyright infringement. You will either need to get the permission of the author to use their work, use an exception such as Fair Dealing, or be allowed to use the author's content via a license such as the Creative Commons license. 

Your work at LSBU

Copyright and your scholarly work.

Any scholarly work created by students at LSBU, such as essays, posters, or thesis, are copyright of the student who created them. If it was a collaborative effort, all individuals involved will share copyright. 

For significant research projects, such as the creation of a new invention which involved use of LSBU facilities and instruction, the university is the copyright holder. This is the case unless the university has entered into an agreement whereby all or a portion of the rights are owned by an external sponsor. So if you are being sponsored to do your research, it will be your sponsor that will have a share of the IP.

Using sources beyond university

Copyright beyond university.

If you need to copy or share copyright work when you are no longer a student, it is much more likely that you will need to get permission from the creator to use their work. For example, if you decide to publish a paper or put up a website, Fair Dealing will not cover these activities. 

To avoid having to track down creators, it helps to utilize material with a Creative Commons License. You can set filters in Google Images as well as YouTube to only provide Creative Commons sources. Before you use the source, check the license to see what it allows. Some allow commercial use of their work, for instance, but other licenses do not. You will also need to attribute the author (provide a reference) and provide the type of Creative Commons license in the description.