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Print materials

Copying print materials for your own use

Limited copying of print materials for non-commercial research and private study can be done under both the fair dealing exemptions of the CLA Higher Education License:

What is fair dealing for printed materials?

The UKPO advises that it may be within the scope of 'fair dealing' to make single photocopies of short extracts of a copyright work for non-commercial research or private study, criticism or review, or reporting current events. General guidance for fair dealing indicates that the following would be deemed to be acceptable:

  • Up to 5 per cent or one whole chapter (whichever is the greater) from a book.
  • Up to 5 per cent or one whole article (whichever is the greater) from a single issue of a journal.
  • Up to 5 per cent or one paper (whichever is the greater) from a set of conference proceedings.
  • Up to 5 per cent of an anthology of short stories or poems or one short story or one poem of not more than ten pages (whichever is the greater).
  • Up to 5 per cent or one single case (whichever is the greater) from a published report of judicial proceedings.

TIP: making multiple copies is not seen as fair dealing and can only be done under the CLA Higher Education License. See Copying Books and Journals for Class Purposes

Criticism or review

You can quote parts of work for the purposes of criticism or review. The Society of Authors advises:

  • An extract of 400 words maximum.
  • A series of extracts, each 300 words maximum, totaling not more than 800 words.
  • 40 lines or 25% or a poem.
  • Works must be correctly acknowledged.

Reporting on current affairs

You can use short extracts of work for the purposes of reporting current affairs provided that the sources are sufficiently acknowledged. This exemption does NOT cover photographs.

Use of photographs

The UK Intellectual Property Office advises that "fair dealing" with a photograph for the purposes of non-commercial research or for private study does not infringe any copyright in the photograph. It must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgment where practical.   


Page last updated on Wednesday 9 March 2016 at 9.39am.


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