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Illustration for instruction

Using copyright items in teaching and examinations

Changes to copyright regulations now allow lecturers to deliver teaching using multimedia methods:  

  • The main exception that allows such copying comes under the heading of “illustration for instruction”. 
  • This applies to copying by a person giving or receiving instruction, or preparing for giving or receiving instruction, and includes setting/communicating and answering examination questions.
  • The instruction must be for a non-commercial purpose and the work used must be sufficiently acknowledged. 
  • The term “illustration” is not actually defined but it is likely that a copy can be used to reinforce a teaching point but cannot be used to just to make a presentation look more appealing. 
  • The normal fair dealing rules still apply here (ie you can only copy a small portion) but the good news is that it now covers all types of copyright works including sound recordings, films and broadcasts. 
  • Copying is no longer restricted to being done by hand thus enabling staff/students to copy using digital technology such as interactive whiteboards.  

Please bear in mind that the University is still bound by the Copyright Licensing Agency and Educational Recording Agency licences regarding use of print materials (eg placing extracts from books and journals on MyCourse) and for providing access to complete broadcasts and films.

Key points

  • You can copy a small part of a work to illustrate a teaching point (e.g. a few lines of text, short clip from a film)
  • The use of the work must only be for non-commercial purposes
  • The use must comply with fair dealing principles
  • There must be sufficient acknowledgement of the content used
  • More extensive use of copyright materials still comes under the terms and restrictions of the educational licences held by the University.

For further information see:

IPO Exceptions to copyright: education and teaching

JISClegal document      

Page last updated on Wednesday 9 March 2016 at 11.12am.


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