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Copyright: Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Copyright Guidance for Learning & Teaching

This section provides information for academic staff on working within Copyright Legislation in relation to teaching, learning and assessment. In the course of producing materials to support teaching and assessment it is inevitable that you will need to make reference to, use and reproduce sections of published and broadcast materials. While Copyright Law does make provision for this there are still limits and restrictions which must be adhered to.

You should remember, that it is your responsibility to ensure that the work you undertake is done within the legislation. Advice and guidance is available from Library and Learning Services. Library and Learning Services is unable to provide legal advice.

Making materials available is quick and efficient way of sharing teaching and learning resources, however, sharing and communicating copyrighted materials online is only permitted by the rights holder under UK law, it makes no difference if the people being communicated to are internal or external to University of Suffolk, or whether the online platform is the intranet, OLE, website or repository. 


Digitising print text and images for the OLE

Our CLA licence permits the scanning of text and images for reuse within the OLE, to facilitate increased access to print resources for course teaching. It does not permit this to be done without limitations. 

The Library and Learning Services team has designated responsibility from the CLA to scan and digitise materials for course teams at University of Suffolk, and staff requiring the digitisation of content should read our guide on Digitised Resources. You should be aware that it may take up to 4 weeks for materials to be made available, so please contact us as soon as you can to request the digitisation of materials.


Reusing 'born-digital' text based content

'Born digital' refers to materials that originate in a digital format. Permission from the rights holder is still required before any sections of text can be reproduced online, even if this is on an internal, authenticated platform. If the rights holder can not be found, or does not respond, the material should be made available through a link to the online resource, if the online resource permits deep linking.

Where the original resource is only available through an institutional subscription, reuse can be even more restricted, especially outside of secure, authenticated platforms such as the OLE. Read our guide on Digitised Resources for further information.


Reusing born-digital images

Images on the internet are the property of the creator or the people/organisation who has bought the rights to them. Images should never be saved, downloaded or reused without first asking permission to do so. This may be gained through written permission or through payment. 

It is possible to find high quality free-to-use images on the internet, often for reuse under Creative Commons licence


Reusing film and video

Video content is widely available on the internet through resources such as YouTube, however, it is unlikely that these sites will permit you to download content and reupload it for use on another platform. Where you want to reference a video on a platform such as YouTube you should first check ay permissions, but it is often possible to embed the video into a course area on the OLE for educational instruction.

University of Suffolk also makes streamed television programmes available through the subscription resource Box of Broadcasts. Under the terms of the BoB licence, it is possible to embed clips and programmes into course content within the OLE. 

Our Digitised Resources guide provides information on how we can support teaching and learning through the provision of digitised print materials or eBook chapters for course areas on the VLE. 

For any other information regarding digitisation please contact David Upson-Dale

When preparing questions for examination and assessment, any copyrighted materials must be appropriately credited. Music scores can not be reproduced for examination under any circumstances. 

Students submitting work for examination or assessment must ensure that any copyrighted materials are attributed correctly to avoid plagiarism. Where dissertations or theses are submitted and will be made available electronically, permission must be sought and granted by any rights holders of third party copyrighted materials. 


Although there is currently no specific provision for the reuse of images in teaching and learning under copyright law, it is good practice to check the permissions before reusing them. If the image is born-digital, there may be a licence which can be checked, or the rights holder should be contacted. If there is any doubt, link to the image, and ensure that it is appropriately acknowledged.

Streamed media

You are allowed to use streamed media from resources including Box of Broadcasts and YouTube in your lectures. You can also embed code in a presentation or provide a direct URL link. 

Drama, music and film

Copyright holders of films, sound recordings and broadcasts hold the exclusive right to perform their works in a public arena. Any situation that is not private or domestic would be regarded as a public performance. However, there is an exception in copyright law which permits the performance of such materials to staff and students within an educational institution for the purposes of educational instruction. This means that they can be shown, in full, to staff and students in a face-to-face lecture. 

Note: this does not apply to the public performance of such materials for entertainment purposes.