Recommend adding photocopies to stock: notes for academic staff

We are usually able to add photocopies of published material to Library stock, but we are obliged to respect copyright. Copyright in the UK is regulated by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. These statutory provisions have been extended by an agreement between British universities and the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) originally established in April 1998 and subsequently amended. To ensure that we comply with these obligations the following procedure has been devised.

The standard request form

  • If you want us to add a photocopy to our stock, even temporarily, you must complete a standard request form, or provide full written details of the item which you wish to add.

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Seeking permission

  • We shall then investigate whether we have a blanket permission to hold the copy (for example, under the terms of the CLA agreement). If we do not, we shall seek permission from the copyright owner. Such applications take time, and sometimes incur a fee, which we shall charge to the Library book fund relevant to your department.
  • We must follow this procedure even where you are able to provide the photocopy we need.
  • If you have already obtained permission from the copyright owner we must have a written copy of that permission for our records and it must specify that the photocopy is allowed for Library use.
  • If the item you wish us to hold is not a photocopy but a manuscript or a typescript, we shall ask you to sign a letter certifying that you are the owner of the copyright. If you are not, we shall attempt to seek the permission of the copyright owner in the usual way.
  • We shall not make copies available for use by readers until we have been able to satisfy ourselves that we have the right to do so.

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Duration of copyright

  • The text of published material is protected by copyright for a period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. After that period the text of the published work is out of copyright and may be copied freely.
  • However, the publisher also has copyright in the typographical arrangement of an edition of the work. This lasts for 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published. It follows, therefore, that a new edition of a work is protected by the publisher's copyright even though the text itself is in the public domain.

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The amount which may be copied

  • Unless we are seeking explicit permission to hold a copy, we must observe the limits described in the Act (section 29(1)) as 'fair dealing'. For more information about fair dealing see the Office of the University Secretary Photocopying Guidelines. The CLA licence permits the following limits for the items which it covers:
    whichever is the greater of:
    • up to 5% or one chapter of a book
    • up to 5% or one article of a journal issue
    • up to 5% or one paper of one set of conference proceedings
    • up to 5% or one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings
    • up to 5% of an anthology of short stories or poems or one short story or one poem of not more than 10 pages

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First, check whether the illustration is in a work covered by the CLA Licence. If it is covered, the licence permits the photocopying of pages in printed books, journals and magazines consisting either wholly of text, pages consisting wholly of images (e.g. illustrations, photographs and other works produced by visual creators) and of pages consisting of a combination of text and images, notwithstanding any credits / special acknowledgements / statement of copyright ownership often printed adjacent to an artistic work.

For Illustrations, diagrams and tables which are not covered by the CLA agreement:

  • If embedded in another work, such as a journal article, illustrations may be copied with their accompanying text as a part of that work.
  • If illustrations, etc., are to be copied without their accompanying text they are subject to the usual limits on fair dealing: no more than 5% of the illustrations in a single copyright work may be copied. Such copies should also be accompanied by a reference giving full details of the provenance of the illustration.
  • In all other circumstances, explicit permission must be sought.

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  • Plan your course reading well in advance and contact us as soon as possible.
  • Never encourage your students to undertake systematic copying of your recommended reading.
  • Warn your departmental library representative that costs may be incurred in connection with your reading list.
  • These notes are intended for guidance only and do not claim to be a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Any queries should be referred to the University's copyright officer, Clare Smith.

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