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Copyright for students

As a student you may wish to photocopy, scan, or download information from books, journals, and online resources. You may also want to reuse material in your assignments. This material will almost certainly be covered by copyright

Copyright protects the expression of an idea as it is recorded, but not the idea itself. It protects materials like literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works, sound recordings, broadcasts and films.

Under UK law, it exists automatically on creation; it does not need to be registered. The copyright symbol © indicates that a work is protected, but it is not essential, and works created in the UK are still protected without it.

UK law limits what you can legally copy and reuse. Notices from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) are situated by the printers and copiers in the Library, and these offer guidance on the amount of copying that is permitted. This includes:-

  • One whole chapter or 10% of the pages from a book.
  • One whole article from a journal issue.
  • One short story or poem (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology.


Further information:

Copyright Guide for Students (JISC)

Staff Copyright Guide