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Fair Dealing for Instruction

ucylcjh23 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.