Copyright and Intellectual Property rights

Copyright and the law

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) protects the rights of authors or creators of original material from having their material unlawfully exploited. You have a personal responsibility to keep within the law – to infringe copyright is illegal.

Photocopying and Scanning

If you wish to copy for the purposes of private study or research for a non-commercial purpose, you may do so without having to ask the permission of the copyright holder. You should keep to the following rules:

  • stay within the limits of so called safe copying i.e. one article from any one issue of a journal/one chapter or 5% from a published work;
  • only make single copies;
  • multiple copies require a copying licence;
  • digital copies must not be placed on a network. This requires permission or a licence;
  • all copies should be acknowledged except where this is impractical.

The University has a Photocopying and Scanning Licence which permits it to copy or scan material and place it on a network under certain strict conditions. If you need information on the licence see your subject librarian.

Works in electronic form

  • If you wish to download or print material for the purpose of private study or research for a non-commercial purpose, you may do so without having to ask the permission of the copyright holder;
  • When copying from web pages you must observe carefully the copyright statements in their Terms of Use section and follow any specific copyright notices attached to individual items;
  • You must down-load and print only single copies unless explicit permission is given on the website to permit you to copy more;
  • Copying for research for a commercial purpose is illegal unless explicit permission is given on the website, in question;
  • If you are using material from a subscription database your use should follow the contractual conditions of that database.

Further information on copyright can be found at or contact the Copyright Officer, David McClure, at

Intellectual Property Rights

If your work, either alone or as part of a team, results in an invention or discovery, any exploitation of the matter will be subject to the University’s Code of Practice on Intellectual Property Rights.

Further information can be found at Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures