Copyright: UEA Frequently Asked Questions Copyright: UEA Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on copyright and teaching

Q. I would like to reuse student course work from last year for teaching purposes. Is it ok to do this?

A. There are two things to be considered here: the student’s right to privacy and the copyright in the work created by the student. While anonymising the work protects the privacy of the student, the student should be consulted to obtain consent for use of their work to ensure copyright compliance.
In the IP regulations, the University makes no claim on the copyright of materials created by a student in the course of their studies. The copyright therefore rests with the student, and we need to ask them for permission to use their work for teaching purposes. 

There is a provision in the 2014 revised copyright legislation which allows for the use of copyright material for the purposes of instruction under fair dealing. We would be however expected to include an acknowledgement. As to do so would necessarily identify the student, it is best, from both a privacy and copyright point of view to contact the student to get their explicit consent.

Q. Is it OK for me to download materials from the Library Catalogue and put them on Blackboard for my students to use?

A. It might be OK – but you will need to check. The material has to be covered by our licences or fair dealing may allow a portion of the material to be used. See copyright and teaching materials for further guidance.

Q. How much of a book or journal can I photocopy if I intend to make multiple copies and hand it out to my students?

A. Our CLA licence only allows us to copy a portion of a copyright text. See copyright essential information.

Q. Can I give my students a copy of material made from my personal copy of a book or journal?

A. No, the source material must be owned by the University. Check the library catalogue, and if you cannot find the material, contact your Faculty librarian and ask if the document can be put on order.

Q. Is it OK for me to compile a set of reading materials drawn from books, online articles, and journals and produce multiple copies to hand out to the students on my course?

A. Our CLA licence only allows us to copy a portion of a copyright text. You can then combine those portions together into a reading pack for your course. You cannot charge for these packs beyond the disbursement course. You cannot make more copies than you have students on your course. See copyright and teaching for further details.

Q. Can I use photos collected from the internet in my presentations? Does it make any difference if the presentation is just for colleagues at my institution or at a conference?

A. There is copyright in material found on the internet. Copyright law allows for material to be used for the purposes of illustration for instruction. Therefore it does make a difference if you take the material out the institution and use it for a purpose other than education. 
However the concept of fair dealing does not apply to photographs in general. You should either gain permission from the copyright holder, or use a copyright cleared photo library to source the material.

Q. What can I do about providing my students with links to articles which are behind paywalls (i.e. subscription-only resources)?

A. This is not really a copyright question. You can share the links with your students, but they will need to use an institutional or personal account to access that material behind the paywall. You should not collect the material yourself and pass copies on to your students. Any material behind a paywall will be governed by the terms and conditions of the site.

Q. There are materials which I’d like to use on my course, but an institutional subscription is required. How are decisions on subscriptions made, and who should I talk with to take this forward?

A. Contact your Faculty librarian.

Q. Can I use music, videos or film in my lectures? Does it make any difference if the lecture is intended just for students on my course, or if it is a public lecture?

A, Yes, as long as it is only for the purposes of illustration for instruction. These types of material are subject to fair dealing.

Q. Can I record or stream a TV or radio programme and use it in my teaching, and place a copy on the VLE?

A. Before you consider making your own recordings, have a look at BOB. This resource provides off-air recording for use in education, and UEA has a subscription. If you have built up your own library of recordings which BOB does not cover, contact for further guidance.

Q. Do I as a member of staff hold copyright in documents, lectures, handouts that I produce, or does the University?

A. No, see further information on copyright for staff.

Q. Is it OK for me to make a recording of myself giving a lecture to share with students so they can use it as a resource at some point in the future?

A. See Jisc copyright FAQs (now archived) for further details.

FAQs for creators (students and staff)

Q. I’ve produced some materials which I’m happy to let others make use of. Do I need to assign a licence to it, or is it OK to do nothing? If I assign a licence, what sort of licence do I need, and where do I get it from?

A. If this is material you have created in the course of your employment, have a look at this guidance on copyright for staff. Otherwise, have a look at the FAQs on the Copyright User site and also Creative Commons.

Q. What do I need to do to get copyright transferred over to me or my department? Can it be transferred to me personally? Can a department hold copyright, or does it need to reside with the institution?

A. Any right in copyright can only be transferred in writing. It is not generally possible for a department to hold copyright. Contact your REN project officer for assistance (login required).

Q. I’ve found some of my material which I created on another website. What do I need to do about this?

A. If you have not given consent, this looks like a copyright infringement. If this is material which you created in the course of your employment, contact REN (login required). Otherwise, see the FAQs on the Copyright User website.

Q. I want to stop others using my works without my permission. Is there an easy way I can achieve this?

A. If this is material which you created in the course of your employment, contact REN (login required). Otherwise, see the relevant FAQ on the Copyright User website. There may be technical means available to support your assertion of copyright.

Q. I’d like to charge others for making use of works (e.g. photographs) I’ve created at UEA. How can I go about arranging this?

A. If you have any plans to commercialise your intellectual property or creative works, contact REN (login required).

Q. Can I put copies of papers I’ve published on my own web pages?

A. Check the terms and conditions of your contract with your publisher. In general, your publisher will own copyright, and placing copies on your own web page will be a breach of that copyright.

Q. Is the University the rights holder for all the creative works generated by its employees in the course of their employment? For what sorts of things am I the rights holder?

A. In general, yes the employer owns the copyright in creative outputs by its staff created in the course of their employment. The University IP Regulations address this topic. 

FAQs about using copyright works

Q. I’d like to add a photo to my website. How can I be sure that it is OK to do this?

A. Use copyright cleared images or seek permission from the rights holder (see section in the copyright and your research page to find out more about seeking permission of the rights holder).

Q. I’m from outside the University and I’d like to use material from a UEA academic in my own creative works. How do I go about getting permission from you?

A. Contact the University's Research and Enterprise Services for advice on how to gain permission to use the material. Email

Q. How much of a book or journal can I photocopy for my own use?

A. Our CLA licence limits how much can be copied. See the terms of our licence.

Q. I’ve heard there is an issue with deep linking to websites. Is this a concern for UEA staff and students?

A. Deep linking means linking to a piece of web content within a web site, rather than to the site’s home page. This can be a concern where one party is passing off material from another site as their own. When you do link to another site, you should make it clear to the reader that you are linking to the original source, and have not generated the content yourself. See the Wikipedia entry on deep linking.

Q. Is it OK to link to articles which I’d like others to read on my blog/twitter feed/Blackboard posting?

A. Yes, this is OK. However, note that readers may be wary of clicking on shortened links (such as those shortened by, or as these do disguise the destination address, and can be used for malicious purposes.

Q. Can I host a film show and charge for admission?

A. Yes, you can show a film to students and staff without permission, but if it is open to the public as well, you do need to obtain permission from the rights holders. This is usually obtained by purchasing a licence to show the film. 

Q. I’d like to use music in my podcasts, what do I need to be aware of? Instead of using the recordings of other artists, can I use a recording I made of myself performing a piece of music, even if I haven’t written the music? What if I wrote the music myself, or improvised?

A. Yes, you can use music in your podcast, but you do need a PRS licence or seek permission from the rights holders. This does look like quite a complex situation, get in touch with for a fuller discussion.

Q. Can I create altered copies of materials to improve accessibility by those with a visual impairment? 

A. Yes, you can do this, but there are some areas you should be aware of. See copyright essential information for further details.

Q. Is there anyone who can help me sort out obtaining permissions for copyright material which I’ve included in my research?

A. and the Research Support Librarian will provide advice and guidance, however do not themselves seek permission on behalf of staff or students. see also  the section on 'Going beyond fair dealing' in the copyright and your research page.

Q. Who is liable if material infringing copyright is included in a document or presentation? Does it make any difference if that material is publically accessible, e.g. via the lecturer’s personal web space, institutional repository, or website?

A. As an employee it is your responsibility to ensure that you have clearance for any copyright material you use in the course of your work. It does not make any difference if the material is publically accessible, but the chance of being caught will be greater.

Q. How can I find out who the rights holder is for a creative work?

A. There are suggestions as to how to find out who holds the rights in the section on 'going beyond fair dealing' on the copyright and your research page. If you cannot find the rights holder and have completed a diligent search, it may be an orphan work.

Q. Is it OK for me to make my own recording of a lecture to use for my own purposes (I’m a student)?

A. No, it is not OK make the recording without the permission of the lecturer, who is likely to have copyright and performance rights, as well as their privacy rights to be taken into account. Even if you have gained permission, you should not share the recording or make it publically accessible.

Links to other copyright FAQs Links to other copyright FAQs

Other organisations and universities have published lists of Frequently Asked Questions on copyright matters: