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Copyright: Licenses & Permissions

Reusing copyrighted work

There are three scenarios under which you can reuse copyrighted work:

  1. the duration of copyright has expired,
  2. you have sought and been granted permission by the rights holder,
  3. permission to reuse the work is granted through a licence. 

University of Suffolk holds licences from the Copyright Licensing Agency, the Educational Recording Agency and the NLA License. these permit the reuse of works in certain circumstances. They do not permit blanket reuse of work.

For educational purposes, and to facilitate access to resources, the CLA Higher Education licence permits the scanning of materials for uploading into the Virtual Learning Environment. Information is available in the digitisation guide.

Copyright Guidance

CLA Higher Education Licence

This licence generally permits the reuse (copying and scanning) of materials from printed books, journals, magazines and many digital publications, as follows:

  • one journal article
  • 10% of a book, or one chapter, whichever is the greater
  • photographs, images, diagrams and charts can also be copied where they are embedded into the body of the extract or article.

The licence does not permit reuse of materials from any:

  • printed music, including the words,
  • newspapers or  articles, 
  • maps and charts,
  • workbooks, assessment sheets
  • any works specifically excluded by the author.


Educational Recording Agency

This licence permits students and tutors to record, copy and reuse certain broadcast materials for teaching purposes. These include:

  • television and radio programmes from free-to-air channels,
  • programmes downloaded from on demand catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player and Demand 5.

The licence does not cover permissions to reuse of materials from:

  • paid subscription services,
  • YouTube,
  • the adaption of content to create footage which is not as originally broadcast (this does not include creating clips from programmes).

The licence does not permit the public showing of broadcasts of commercial films in a 'film club' environment regardless of whether a fee is charged. 

University of Suffolk provides access to broadcast materials, covered by the ERA licence through Box of Broadcasts

Exceptions for educational purposes permit certain reuse of materials, without the permissions of rights holders for teaching and learning purposes. These include:

  • copying work by hand for the purposes of instruction (e.g. onto a whiteboard), as long as appropriate acknowledgement is given,
  • performing, playing of showing works to a class of students for the purposes of instruction,
  • uploading limited digitised materials to a course area on the VLE,
  • reproducing images or passages of text for the purposes of examination or assessment,
  • for non commercial research or private study, as long as fair acknowledgement is given.


Accessible texts

Where a student needs a personal copy of a text to facilitate equitable access to resources for the purposes of instruction, copies can be made available outside of copyright law. These copies can be made by the student, a registered helper or Library and Learning Services. Certain restrictions still apply.

  • the resource must not already be available in a format which can be manipulated to meet the needs of the student. this means that where an eBook or eJournal copy is already available, and the student can change backgrounds or font size using assistive technologies, another copy should not be made. 
  • if the resource is commercially available to the student or facilitating service (University of Suffolk Library and Learning Services) in an appropriate format, a personal copy should not be made, but the commercially available resource should be purchased wherever possible. 
  • if no accessible copy is available the helper, student or Library and Learning Services will make a copy available to the student. 


Different types of licences are available which permit different types of reuse for different types of materials.

Note: University of Suffolk currently has a CLA HE licence, an ERA licence, and an NLA License.