Enhanced Disability Exception to Copyright

By Chris J Holland, on 10 April 2014

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This is one of the more exciting changes included in the updating of exceptions to copyright, which have been proposed by the Government. If all goes to plan it should come into force on 1st June 2014, along with the other changes.  The existing exception (which stands to be replaced) permits the making of accessible copies solely for persons with visual impairments. This allows for example large print copies, conversion into braille and audio versions. Currently there is nothing to  permit copying into a format to assist people with any issues other than visual impairment, such as dyslexia.

The updated version, as published by the IPO, will allow us to make an accessible copy to give a person with any type of disability better access to copyright material. So that if a person with mobility issues would benefit from an accessible copy, we would be allowed to produce that copy for them.

The other major advantage of the new exception is that it now  covers all published copyright works, regardless of the format of the original work. If an accessible version of a film or a sound recording were required then we can now make it.  There are still some checks and record keeping which must be maintained when using the exception but there is little doubt it will be a big improvement. For further information email:  copyright@ucl.ac.uk

Chris Holland, Copyright Support Officer

Link to IPO site


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Changes to copyright law from 1st June 2014

By Chris J Holland, on 28 March 2014

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The final version of the changes to copyright legislation has been published! Long-awaited by the library community, the changes update the exceptions under the Act to make them more relevant in the digital age and more helpful to users of copyright material. Despite lobbying from all sides there appear to be only minor changes to the draft legislation published for consultation in 2013.

The amendments to the copyright exceptions will come into force on 1st June, so there will be time to look at them in more detail on this blog. These are the highlights:

  • A brand new exception permitting data mining for non-commercial purposes.
  • “Non-commercial research and private study” exception expanded to cover all formats. 
  • Exception for copying print material into an accessible format for persons with visual issues has been expanded to cover copying from all formats and now benefits all persons with disabilities.  
  • Expanded “fair dealing” exception for the purpose of “instruction” (CDPA S32) now permits copying from all formats.
  •  Education exception (CDPA S36) is expanded to cover most formats and permits uploading of extracts onto a secure network.
  • The “criticism and review”exception has been expanded to permit copying of quotations generally and also copying for purposes of parody and pastiche (new CDPA S30).

Please contact for enquiries on this or other copyright matters:

 Chris Holland, Copyright Support Officer:  copyright@ucl.ac.uk

Link to the IPO website: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/hargreaves/hargreaves-copyright/hargreaves-copyright-techreview.htm

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Copyright Support

By Hazel M Ingrey, on 27 March 2014

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Copyright support at UCL has just had a boost, with a new addition to our team: the new post of Copyright Support Officer has been taken up by Chris Holland.

Chris will be posting here about copyright news and highlighting frequently asked questions that have arisen at UCL.  Do send your copyright queries as usual to the copyright email address copyright@ucl.ac.uk


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Registering copyright

By June Hedges, on 14 October 2011

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Increasingly we are being asked how individuals can assert or register copyright in their work. Assuming that you are not publishing with journal or book publisher (or on a recognised web site, etc.), you will retain all rights in your work. In the UK there is no need to register copyright. This is because it automatically arises as soon as a work is recorded in a perceptible format, e.g. a written manuscript, a photograph, work of art, etc.
You may want to identify a work as your own by using the standard copyright symbol © followed by your name and the date the work was created. You may also want to consider applying a Creative Commons Licence to your work to make it clear what types of re-use you will permit.

Commercial services to register copyright do exist. However these services will make a charge to do something that UK Legislation does for creators automatically. The Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society do provide some suggestions of how you might want to ensure that you have proof that you are the creator of a work should there ever be any legal issues: http://www.alcs.co.uk/Authors–rights/All-about-copyright/Registering-copyright

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Using film stills

By June Hedges, on 7 July 2011

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Yesterday we received a query from a colleague wanting to use an image  from the film Apocalypto (2006) to illustrate their research on a departmental website. Making use of a still from a film in this way does require permission from the copyright owner as it involves republishing the image on a public site and so is not covered by fair dealing exemptions relating to criticism and review. The issue with this query was more how to track down the rights owner to obtain the permission.

The film was made by Touchstone Pictures, which is part of the Disney. Much searching of the Disney website turned up only a general email contact for press related enquiries, to which a speculative email was sent, and a postal address for the Disney Rights in Burbank, California. Much to our surprise a response arrived from the Clearance Administrator for the Walt Disney Company advising that rights to the film were owned by Icon Distribution, so a request was made to them for permission and we await their response.

Along the way though, I discovered a very helpful resource for tracing rights for US materials: http://cocatalog.loc.gov And a great deal of information about US copyright on the US Copyright Office webpages: http://www.copyright.gov/


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What happens to my copyright query?

By June Hedges, on 1 July 2011

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Yes, this query is made up. But we wanted to start this FAQ/Copyright blog with an entry that outlines what happens when a query does arrive and how we work to find an answer.

We ask for as much detail as possible for a reason, almost every case is unique and we will sometimes consult with other copyright advisors or copyright bodies to seek further opinions or clarification. It is useful then to have all the specific details to hand.

Unfortunately, we do often come back with a negative. Legislation has been slow to catch up with technology and how education is exploiting this. So the kind of use that we would like to make of materials is often simply not permitted legally without permission.

Once we receive your query we will be in touch (usually by email) within a couple of days, hopefully with an answer or to advise you that we need to do some more research or pass the query on to be dealt with.

All our advice comes with the familiar disclaimer: “our advice is based on local expertise and widely adopted best practice. Neither these pages, not any advice provided by UCL Library Services staff constitute legal advice”.

We will also be anonymising queries to add to this blog to build a bank of FAQs for other colleagues to refer to. If you would rather we didn’t then please let us know.

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