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Copyright @ Solent

FAQs related to use in teaching


If I take a photograph of a sculpture that is displayed outside and then post the photograph within my SOL module pages, am I infringing copyright in the sculpture? I understand that ‘Sculpture’ is protected by copyright as an "artistic work", so is my photograph infringing?

In the UK there is an exception to copyright which allows photography and filming of sculptures which are "permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public…" You would not be infringing copyright since the sculpture is situated in a public place.  However if you take photographs of pieces in a gallery or a private collection without permission then that would be copyright infringement. 

A Google search has found a photo that will really help the visual appeal of my SOL modules, can I make use of it?

Not without being sure of its copyright status. If you are able to obtain permission from the copyright owner that would be fine. If the photograph is accompanied by licence information which allows reuse, such as a Creative Commons licence then it may be okay to insert it in your modules, but you will still need to conform to the terms of the licence, making sure that the photographer is acknowledged correctly for example.

Can I pin images found in Pinterest to my module pages? 

To avoid copyright infringement, you should only pin images in Pinterest which are out of copyright, which they own, or have permission or a licence from the rights-holder to pin. For more guidance, use the Jisc link below, please note that Jisc website is not being updated, but the information is still valid.

Digitising information

Can I digitise chapters for my students, I have my own scanner?

Digitised chapters must be done through the library. Our digitised material is stored with the CLA on the Digital Content Store, so any scans need to be added to the DCS and show their copyright front sheet to be in compliance with our HE Scanning Licence. The library can do all of this and make sure that there is scanning permission for that title beforehand!

Can I move digitised documents to another reading list or distribute by printing them and giving out to my students?

Please do not download digitised documents from the reading list and add them directly to other module pages. There is an option to download a copy for personal use, but this must not be used to move the item to another location. Digitised material on reading lists must remain within the DCS system, so if you need to move it to another unit please contact who can arrange that.

I have digitised material on one of my module pages and want to use it for another. Can I copy them over into other module pages too?

To comply with the library's CLA licence, digitised material is only legal for a specific modules and course duration - it cannot be copied into another module.  If you wish to add the same digitised material to several modules, contact who can generate and add new links for you to ensure your continued copyright compliance.

Freely available...

Does adding materials found online, to a password protected environment such as SOL make it legal, as it will be students accessing the information for educational use?

Simply placing copyrighted materials, for examples pdfs found online, or found within websites; even within a password protected environment does NOT make it legal – it can still be construed as unauthorised copying. 
Although it is very easy to download pdfs/images, from the internet and insert them into SOL module pages or a presentations on your SOL pages, be aware that they will almost certainly be subject to some sort of copyright, and unless you own the copyright yourself, it is not legal or acceptable just to download and add them.

I’ve just written a post on my personal blog, and composed a tweet. Does copyright law protect them?

If it's your original work your blog post would certainly be protected by copyright. In terms of copyright law it is a "literary work" and protection does not depend on the level of literary quality. Material posted within social media or on websites is subject to copyright just as much as print publications. In principle even a tweet could be protected depending on its originality.

If there is no information or details on copyright within a website, that I would like to download information from and upload to my SOL modules, does it mean that it is okay to freely use?

You must always assume that you need permission from the copyright owner and that the copyright position is "all rights reserved". Unless you can read anything stating the information contained is free to use/distribute, copyright will always be “all rights reserved” and written permission would be needed to use it.  It may be possible to link to the website but avoid a "deep link" which would bypasses the home page of an organisation.

PDFs and reading lists

If I find a PDF online can I download and add to my module reading lists, so my students can access them easily?

Beware of using PDFs unless you are absolutely certain they are free to use. If you are not sure, you should link to the item not download it. If it is not obvious on the item, you need to check the 'terms of use' of the source.

If something says it is available or can be downloaded for personal use, that means you can download it and use it only for yourself. You cannot download it and put it on the VLE for your students to use as that could be classed as distribution. You need to link to where your students can download a copy for themselves i.e. for their own personal use.

I have downloaded and saved a relevant article as a pdf which I want to make available to my students as it will really aid their studies.  Can I provide them all with access to the pdf document either through SOL or by emailing it to them?

Accessing an article as a pdf or saving as a pdf, means you cannot share/distribute with your students. For yourself, you are covered by the copyright exception for “non-commercial research or private study” e.g. for your use only!

To share, it is safer to link to the website rather than a pdf document. Using the website link you are less likely to run into copyright issues. It is not generally permitted to email the full text of articles to your students unless they are covered by the websites copyright.