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Copyright Statement

All rights, including copyright, in the content of these web pages (including, but not limited to, the University logo, and all text, layout, graphics, video and audio material and artwork) are owned or controlled for these purposes by Coventry University and/or its subsidiaries unless otherwise stated.

Content on web pages at Coventry University is the responsibility of the page owner and does not necessarily represent the views of Coventry University.

In accessing the University's web pages, you agree that you may only download the content for your own personal non-commercial use. The material on these web pages should not be used, copied, stored or transmitted outside Coventry University without the prior written consent of Coventry University or in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Library Copyright Statement


Copyright provides protection for any intellectual property by ensuring that it cannot be copied or altered without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright does not need to be officially registered; the act of creating a work is enough for it to be protected. Nor does it need to display the © symbol.  It is important for the work to exist in some tangible form as you can’t copyright an idea.

The basis for most current copyright legislation is the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 88)

The copyright legislation refers to copyright subsisting in four broad areas:

  • literary, dramatic, musical works or artistic works (this includes books and periodicals etc);
  • films; 
  • sound recordings, broadcasts, cable programmes and computer generated works;
  • publishers’ copyright of typographical arrangements.

There is also a specific copyright in databases, and the legislation has been interpreted to include most other material including electronic resources such as the Internet.

In practice, this is likely to include most material that you want to copy.  It also means that in any one work for example there may be several claims on copyright, by the author, publisher, illustrator, etc. 

All students are required to comply with all current legislation and breaking copyright law will be treated as a disciplinary offence by the university.  You may also be sued by the copyright owner.


For printed material copyright lasts for the author or creator during their lifetime and for 70 years after their death.  There is also a copyright in the typographical arrangement of a publication for 25 years after the date of publication.
To make life easier, however, copyright legislation has a provision known as “fair dealing” which allows you to make copies of material under certain circumstances.

Fair Dealing

Fair dealing provides an exception to copyright that allows an individual to copy a reasonable proportion of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. In simple terms this includes almost all print and paper based material but excludes films, videos/DVDs, sound recordings or broadcasts (all of which are dealt with in sections below). The general understanding of “fair dealing” is that copying does not infringe copyright, provided that:

  • it is for personal use, for private study that is neither directly or indirectly for a commercial purpose;
  • it is for research for non-commercial purposes;
  • it is for criticism, or review and provided that sufficient acknowledgement of the original work is made;
  • it comprises no more than:
    • one article only from a single issue of a periodical, or one paper from a set of conference proceedings
    •  a maximum of one complete chapter of a book
    • the whole report of one law report case
    • the whole of a poem or short story not more than ten pages in length, if contained in a collection of such works in book form


  • it is no more than 5% of a work, whichever is the greater. 

In other words you can copy one complete chapter of a book even if it is more than 5% of the total length of the book and you can copy two or more chapters from a long book provided that the total copied does not exceed 5% of the total length.

Any copying beyond these limits can only be done with the permission of the rights holder or under licence.


It is probably reasonable for you to scan a copy of copyright material for your own personal use provided it is within the fair dealing limits outlined above. You are not allowed to make scanned copies available to anyone else or to make them available across a network unless you have permission. You can get more details about scanning by asking a member of Library staff.

Exclusions to fair dealing

There are a number of types of material which are excluded from the right to fair dealing. The ones you are most likely to come across are these:

  • Printed music (including the words)
  • Maps, charts, or books of tables
  • Public examination papers
  • Newspapers 

Additional help for users with visual impairment

Under the terms of one of our licences we may make copies of the whole or any part of many works in any format that renders them accessible to a person having a visual impairment - this includes, but is not limited to digital or audio format, large or small print copies or embossed copies (whether produced in Moon or Braille or otherwise) subject to the following conditions:

  • The University or the person requesting an accessible copy is in lawful possession of an original copy from which the accessible copy will be made
  • There is no accessible copy commercially already available
  • The copy you make is as accurate as practicable consistent with making it accessible
  • The accessible copy is only to be used by the person for whom it is made

Please ask a member of Library staff if you want to know more about this.

Using electronic resources

All electronic resources are covered by UK copyright legislation. Most are also covered by licences. Both place restrictions on what you are allowed to copy and what you are allowed to do with those copies. You must ensure that you do not infringe copyright legislation or the licence for the resources you use. The University treats such infringement as a disciplinary offence.
It is your responsibility to read the licence restrictions for any resources before making copies from them. There is usually a link on the e-resource home page that provides details of the licence. If you are in any doubt please ask a member of Library staff but in brief you can usually:

  • Read an article on screen
  • Download an article from an issue of a journal, but not the whole issue, for your own personal use for research, teaching or private study
  • Download a chapter from a book, but not the whole book, for your own personal use for research, teaching or private study
  • Download an article or chapter and print it for your own personal use for research, teaching or private study

You are not permitted to:

  • Use the material for any commercial purpose
  • Share the material with unauthorized users. This will normally mean anyone outside of the University
  • Make more than one copy or printout of any one article or chapter from a book or make an excessive amount of copying from a single journal issue or book
  • Make the material available on a network to be accessed by others including within CU Online
  • Print the material and make copies available to others 
  • Change the material in any way including any copyright statements attached to it 

It is your responsibility to read the licence restrictions for any resources before making copies from them. There is usually a link on the e-resource home page that provides details of the licence. If you are in any doubt please ask a member of Library staff.

Copying from the Internet

Despite appearances almost everything on the internet will be protected by copyright. Just because there is no copyright statement does not mean that you are allowed to copy it.

You will probably be able to:

  • download or print an insubstantial part of such material for your own research or private study, provided it is not for commercial purposes;
  • provide links to other web sites but you should always link to the home page of the site where copyright notices or other important information is likely to be found. If you do want to “deep link” direct to pages below the home page you are strongly advised to seek permission of the owner of the site.

You should not:  

  • share any information copied or downloaded from the Internet across a network or CU Online without the permission of the rights holder;
  • suggest that, because you have provided a link to others, they have the right to copy this information without permission. You and they need to be sure you know what permission you have for any website you make available to them or warn them that they are responsible for checking what copyright permission they have if they wish to copy material from the site;
  • make inappropriate or derogatory references to the site which will infringe the moral rights of the copyright owner;
  • imply that if they follow the link they will be using your own work. You must make it clear that the link is to someone else’s work.

Downloading material from web sites will almost certainly be an infringement of copyright unless there is a statement on the site that explicitly grants such permission. Even in circumstances where the site owner grants permission to copy it is quite possible that the site contains copyright material for which the site owner has no rights. It is your responsibility to check this as copying this material without permission will almost certainly be an infringement of the copyright owner’s rights.


Information in databases is also covered by copyright.  Before downloading information you should read the licence for the source you are using, all of which differ. In general terms, however, you will probably be able to:

  • Download a reasonable part of the database for personal use;
  • Print off a reasonable part of a database for personal use. 

You are not allowed to use material from a database for commercial purposes or to share the information with others.

Music and sound recordings

Copyright in recordings lasts for 50 years.  Fair dealing does not apply to copying recorded music and sound recordings and so copying them without permission is not allowed.  This includes downloading music from the internet without permission.
The only exceptions to this are that you may copy brief extracts for criticism or review as part of your course work or assessments provided they are not made available to, or seen by, an audience of people not connected with the university and provided that the sources are properly acknowledged.

Films and videos

Copyright in film and video lasts for 70 years from the death of the last member of the creative team. Fair dealing does not apply to films and video and so copying them without permission is not allowed.
The only exceptions to this are that you may copy brief extracts for criticism or review as part of your course work or assessments provided they are not made available to, or seen by, an audience of people not connected with the University and provided that the sources are properly acknowledged.

Ordnance Survey maps

Under the fair dealing provisions of the current legislation anyone may make copies of Ordnance Survey maps subject to the following conditions:

  • A maximum of four copies of a single extract may be made from any Ordnance Survey map, with the size of the extract limited to A4
  • Copies may only be made for research or private study
  • Copies may not be made for professional or business use, or for planning applications

In addition the University has an Educational Licence with Ordnance Survey that provides additional rights for researchers. Please refer to the copyright advice for staff on the Staff Portal, or ask a member of Library staff.


This is only intended to be a brief summary of the current position on copyright; it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the legislation or any of the licences referred to. If you are in any doubt about whether you are allowed to make copies please contact the Library for advice.

Main contact

Phil Brabban
Head of Circulation and Document Delivery Services
Tel: 024 7688 7519

Lanchester Library
Frederick Lanchester Building
Coventry University
Gosford Street
Tel: 024 7688 7575
Fax: 024 7688 7525

IT Services Copyright Statement

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is applicable to all types of creations, including text, graphics and sounds by an author or an artist. This will include any which are accessible through the University's computing facilities. Any uploading or downloading of information through online technologies which is not authorised by the copyright owner will be deemed to be an infringement of his or her rights.

Please note that the application of the Copyright Act to electronic copying (eg scanning) is even stricter than its application to photocopying, since the fair dealing arrangements which usually apply to libraries (ie one article per journal for the purposes of research or private study) do not exist for computerised materials.

Agents working on behalf of copyright owners are constantly scouring the internet for the electronic signatures of illegally-held material. Where that is found and identified as being in the Coventry University domain, the user identity will be traced and disciplinary action will ensue, as this is in breach of the University's code of conduct for use of IT Services (part of the General Regulations of the University).

Some types of infringement give rise to criminal offences, the penalties for which may amount to up to two years' imprisonment or an unlimited fine. It is also possible for the copyright owner to claim compensation or to have infringing activities prevented by an injunction.

For more information about copyright issues, visit the Intellectual Property Rights pages.

File Sharing

You must not make available by any means (including, but not limited to, web server or P2P file-sharing software), any material unless:

  • you are the copyright holder
  • you have a licence to make the material available
  • the material is in the public domain
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