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A copyright guidance resource for staff, students and researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University

Pre-2014 copyright law & exceptions

New Copyright legislation (2014) – what’s changed?

In 2014, a number of new copyright exceptions were introduced in relation to copying works for education and instruction; text and data mining; copying for people with disabilities; personal, private use; libraries and archives; criticism, review and quotation; and caricature, parody or pastiche. 

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has produced 8 targeted guides on the changes to copyright law and how they might have an impact on you. Available to download from the IPO website.

For a fuller outline of the implications of these exceptions for teaching and learning, see the Copyright for Staff page of this guide. 

Further information

Permissions letter for researchers

[Author or Publisher and address] (Copyright notice will normally tell you who has the authority to provide permission).

Dear _______
Request for permission to reproduce copyright material
I am preparing a thesis and am writing to request permission to include some of your material (details below).  The finished work will be made available in electronic form for educational purposes in an Open Access Repository (Espace) of the Manchester Metropolitan University. [If considering commercial publication add: The work will also be published in a journal / book + details] 
The material that I would like to include is: (include as much information about the material as possible including title, author/editor, date of publication, edition number, exact page numbers, ISBN/ISSN/website address (URL) etc)

In accordance with UK Copyright legislation (Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988), I would be grateful if you could grant me permission to use the material described above for the purpose stated above. Could you please confirm your consent in writing to this proposed use of your copyright works, including where necessary details of how you wish to be accredited? If you do not own the rights in the material, I should be grateful if you could either forward this request to the appropriate person, or provide me with the contact details of the rights holder so that I might approach them directly.
(A 'Permission Granted' slip is included at the foot of this letter for your convenience. If you wish to use this, please sign it and return the whole letter to me.) 
Yours faithfully,
[insert your MMU signature]
Permission granted 
Name (print) .......................................................................................................... 
Signed ...................................................................................................................... 
Date ..........................................................................................................................

Orphan Works

In 2014, laws were introduced governing the use of so-called 'orphan works'. Orphan works are copyright works or performances which are protected by copyright but whose authors cannot be identified or found following a 'diligent search'. 

Previously an orphaned work could not be copied without the permission of the copyright owner of the work unless one of the exceptions set out in the CDPA applied (e.g. non-commercial research and private study, or news reporting). 

As a result of the new regulations, a person who wishes to copy an orphan work may apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for an 'orphan works licence', provided that person has first conducted a 'diligent search' to try to identify the owner. The UK IPO has published guidance for three types of orphan works (film & sound; literary works; and still visual art) which provides further information on how a person applying for an orphan works licence must carry out their diligent search. 

A person who obtains an orphan works licence and pays the relevant fee to the UK IPO will be permitted to carry out acts for commercial or non-commercial purposes that would otherwise infringe copyright in the UK. The licence will last for up to seven years, with the possibility of renewal. 

The UK IPO may refuse a licence if the applicant has failed to conduct a diligent search, if the proposed treatment, adaption or alteration of the relevant orphan work is derogatory, or if the grant of such a licence is against the public interest. 

2039 and Unpublished Works

Unpublished works pose their own copyright problems, this especially affects archives. A quirk of copyright law means that many of these works, including some very old documents are in copyright until 2039.

Before 1st August 1989 when the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 came into force, the situation was even more restrictive. Some unpublished works enjoyed perpetual copyright. The CDPA redefined the duration of copyright for those works to 50 years after the new Act came into force, in other words to the end of 2039.

Among the works affected are previously unpublished works of known authorship created before 1st August 1989, (except pre June 1957 photographs), in all cases where the author died before 1969. The letters of a prominent artist, written prior to 1989 and never published would be in copyright until 2039.

Therefore, it an archive such as Manchester Metropolitan University's Special Collections wished to reproduce any of those letters, they would need permission from the copyright holder, who could for example be a descendant of the author. This situation affects the use of extensive material held by many British archives and museums, and similarly restrictive rules apply to some unpublished material which is Crown Copyright.

A campaign has been launched by CILIP, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA) and others to persuade the UK Government to press ahead with a small but significant change to the copyright term for unpublished works.


Licence information for Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University currently holds the following licences: 

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Licence 

The CLA HE Licence covers the photocopying and scanning of most, but not all, UK publications, and a number of US and international publishers.
It allows:

  • Multiple photocopies of limited extracts from copyright protected printed books, journals and magazines
  • Digital Copies of limited extracts from copyright protected printed books, journals and magazines
  • An online tool for checking UK and global publisher permissions for photocopying and scanning can be found at the Copyright Licensing Agency's HE website.

Academic staff who wish to photocopy or download material e.g. book chapters, journal articles, information or images from the web for teaching registered Manchester Metropolitan University students, including distance learners, are covered by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Photocopying and Scanning LicencePhotographs, illustrations, diagrams or charts may also be copied where they are included in the body of the extract or article.

Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) Licence

Under the NLA Licence currently held by Manchester Metropolitan University, copying or digitisation of newspaper articles/pages for students is fine, as is putting them on Moodle, and most papers are covered except the FT. Newspaper supplements like the Guardian Weekend are also permitted. However, magazines are not included in the NLA licence at present, so the advice is to check to see if magazine titles are covered under our CLA licence instead.

Here’s the CLA/HE title checking tool:

There is a link to a title checker for newspapers too.

NLA title checking tool

Anything digitised under our CLA licence must be recorded and reported but this is not a requirement of the NLA.

Please include the notice that says “NLA licensed copy. No further copies may be made except under licence” to any newspaper copying.

It’s still best practice to link directly to an article we have online access to, but if your students are analysing layout or similar it would be fine to digitise so they can see the whole page with pictures, ads, etc. in context. 

Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence 

The ERA Licensing Scheme provides a single point of clearance for all rights necessary for educational establishments to create and use resources obtained from broadcast materials whether on television or radio. This Licence covers the use of recorded broadcast media in teaching and learning and grants the right to record broadcasts for non-commercial educational purposes by making ERA Recordings. Manchester Metropolitan University's Licence allows ERA Recordings (such as those available via Box of Broadcasts) to be accessed by students and teachers online from outside the premises of their establishment.

Performing Rights Society (PRS) 

The PRS licence - allows the performance of live music on University premises in the following circumstances:

  • solely as a required part of fulfilling a recognised and official qualification, without a charge for entry
  • if the syllabus requires the event to charge for admission, evidence of the syllabus must be provided

Which licence do I need to show a film at Manchester Metropolitan University?

If a film is only being shown to students as part of their core curriculum, it falls under an 'educational exemption' (5(2) Part 2 Schedule 1 of the Licencing Act 2003) and is fine, no further action is necessary. However, if showing a film for any other reason than that just mentioned, a copyright/screening licence must be obtained. 

Copyright/screening licences are available from the following companies:

  1. Filmbank
    This company has an online catalogue on which you can search for the documentary. If they do not list the documentary in the catalogue, they cannot provide the licence.
  2. Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
    You will need to phone/email them to see if they can license the documentary.
  3. British Film Institution (BFI)
  4. Park Circus
    For older films
  5. Hollywood Classics
    For older films

eResource licences

Most electronic resources (databases, ejournals, ebooks) are made available through subscriptions handled by the Library. Access for Manchester Metropolitan University staff and students is permitted under the terms of licences drawn up by the supplier. All members of Manchester Metropolitan University are responsible for ensuring that they comply with licences.

If you are in any doubt at all you must check the specific licence for any given resource.

As a general rule:

  • you may not make multiple copies of any material
  • you may not share any material with unauthorised users (for example, non-members of Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • all use must be for non-commercial purposes, ie private study, research or teaching. Student placements and work-related projects may well constitute commercial use, so licence terms must be checked in these circumstances
  • you must never disclose your password(s) for electronic resources
  • you must not modify the text of any copyright material, nor any related copyright statement
  • You should not make licensed material available to others over any kind of network or by e-mail without checking the terms of the licence concerned

For further information contact the Library.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons provides an alternative to conventional copyright protection. It allows people who create content to attach licences to their work, making it explicit that it can be re-used.

Creative Commons helps you publish your work online whilst letting others know exactly what they can and can't do with your work. With a Creative Commons licence, you keep the copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit, and only on the conditions you specify.

From the Creative Commons website you can search for materials that can be re-used without needing to request permission.

For a helpful explanation of the meaning behind CC attributions and symbols, here's a short video
Not sure which CC licence is the one for you? Here's some help to choose a licence

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