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Copyright for Solent Students

Guide for students on copyright

Copying for commercial purposes

The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No. 2498), which came into force in the UK on 31 October 2003 have removed the 'fair dealing' and 'library privilege' exceptions with regard to commercial copying.  For commercial purposes you are NOT permitted to

  • Copy an article or chapter copyright-free if the publication is still in copyright.
  • Use that copy except if covered by the HE Licence.

The HE copyright licence covers photocopies and digital copies made for the purpose of an HEI’s commercially funded research.

  • Copies cannot be further copied or supplied to companies who are simply engaged in sponsoring studentships, fellowships, secondments and placements 
  • If copying is for other purposes, you must purchase a Library Licence (£17.50 including VAT) For  information on this scheme please email

British Library and Copyright Licensing Authority (CLA) guidance is that the following examples would count as commercial copying:

Research relevant to research and development (R&D) in a commercial company.

  • Market research or competitor intelligence in all organisations.
  • Searching for legislation and regulations for a commercial company.
  • Research relevant to R&D where results will be passed to a commercial company for commercial use (except where covered by the HE licence).
  • Work done by an information broker for clients.
  • The BL and CLA indicate that research for a conference or publication for which you would expect to receive payment or royalties is also judged to be for a commercial purpose.

The British Library and CLA have indicated that the following examples would not count as commercial copying:

  • R&D in educational establishments which is not related to any commercial venture.
  • Individuals’ own private research or study, unrelated to any commercial venture.
  • Research on a genuinely pro-bono basis.
  • Research done for a publication for which you will not receive royalties.
  • Conference for which you do not receive a fee.

In these instances you can continue to copy copyright-free up to the ‘fair dealing’ limits see printed materials.