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Copyright Queries



Archive for June, 2014

Fair Dealing for Instruction

By ucylcjh, on 23 June 2014

Among the updated exceptions to copyright introduced this month there are two which are specific to education and which I will cover in separate blog posts. Firstly there is the exception “…for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction”. This is in the amended Section 32 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. It is a “fair dealing” exception and is available to those receiving and giving instruction.

Now expanded to cover any method of copying and copyright works in any medium, this exception has been transformed into something useful, but care is required about what is and is not covered.  Examples that would be covered:

  • A modest extract from a film in a presentation to students, as long as the extract is copied from a legal source and the other criteria are fulfilled.
  • Distributing copies of an extract from a book to students for use in a seminar.

What would not be covered:

  • Anything which is not “fair dealing” such as an unreasonably long extract or a replacement for purchasing copies of a text book.
  • Anything done for a commercial purpose, such as a charged CPD course.
  • Long-term storage of the extracts, beyond the immediate teaching context.  

The exception will permit usage of material not already covered by a licence. In some cases there may be a choice between the exception and copying under a licence.  There is a good case for preferring the licensed route to minimise risk.

A post on copying for examinations will follow.

Breaking News: New date for Quotation and Parody

By ucylcjh, on 9 June 2014

These exceptions were delayed for further scrutiny and hence did not come into force on 1st June as planned. Both are quite significant for HE.  The quotation exception (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act Section 30) is contained in a draft Statutory Instrument  which has just been published and is due to come into force on 1st October 2014.

This is a “fair dealing” exception which permits extracts to be reproduced from any copyright work as long as this is fair dealing. That test needs to be considered carefully in each case. It is no longer restricted to “criticism and review” and now covers quotation for any purpose. The amount quoted should be no more that required for that purpose. Useful features of this exception are:

  • It applies to quotations from all media, so that it could cover the use of an extract from a film, for example.
  • Its use is not tied to a particular context: The quotation could appear in  a blog post, an academic presentation or a published book, as long as the use of the quotation can be justified in terms of fair dealing.

The Parody exception, in the form of new section 30A to the CDPA 1988, is entirely new to UK copyright law and is included in the same SI. It gives considerable leeway in terms of reproduction for purposes of caricature, parody and pastiche. This will be significant for creative work. Neither of these exceptions can be over-ridden by contract terms.


The Updated Disabilities Exception has come into force!

By ucylcjh, on 3 June 2014

The updated Disabilities Exception to copyright (first mentioned here on 10th April) came into force on 1st June, which is great news. It represents a significant expansion of the permission given to “authorised bodies” to improve the accessibility of copyright works for persons with disabilities. It enables any educational or not for profit organisation to:

  • Produce an accessible copy for a person with any type of disability which causes difficulty in accessing a copyright work.
  • Copy any type of copyright work into an accessible format.

Previously the exception was limited to people with visual impairments and to text based copyright works. By way of example, the updated version enables an educational body to produce a subtitled version of a film or TV broadcast for students with hearing issues, to produce an alternative print format to assist a student with dyslexia or to provide a copy which would be more accessible to a person with mobility issues.

The requirement to check whether there is a licence which would permit the making of the relevant copy has been removed, but the exception only applies to the extent that there is not a copy in the required format available commercially on reasonable terms. There are reporting and record keeping requirements which need to be observed.

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, New Sections 31A to 31F

Link to JISC piece on the New Exception