Library Services


Copyright for teaching

Copyright for teaching

Copyright restricts what you may do lawfully with someone else's work.

It is very important to remain within the law. The law also protects the copyright in your own work. The default is that you need permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute someone else's work.

How can I provide digitised course readings for my students? Is copyright an issue?

UCL pays for an annual HE Licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) to reproduce extracts from a wide range of books and journals. This enables you to provide digitised course reading to students registered for UCL taught courses. The CLA licence is for this specific purpose and is not a general licence to copy. You must submit course readings to Teaching and Learning Support (TLS) in order to comply with the licence. You can then link to the digitised material from the online reading list for the relevant course.

How can I use broadcasts for teaching? What is BoB?

UCL has a licence from the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) which allows you to record live television and radio broadcasts (including broadcast feature films) to be used for educational purposes with UCL audiences. The most convenient way of using the ERA licence to provide access to broadcast material is via the web-based BoB service (Box of Broadcasts) to which UCL subscribes. This is accessible to all UCL staff and students via the BoB website using your UCL log-in. BoB offers a database of recent broadcasts and listings of future broadcasts. You can select the items of interest and store them on your account. This avoids the need to make recordings and then arrange secure storage to comply with the ERA licence. You can set up playlists and share them with UCL students. You can also link to content in BoB from UCL Reading lists.

How can I use films for teaching purposes?

Showing films to an audience is an activity restricted by copyright but there are some useful options available:

If a film is available on the BoB service (because it has been broadcast on television recently) you can use it for teaching directly from the BoB website by adding it to your play list. The Kanopy streaming service, which UCL subscribes to, is another source of films (26,000 of various kinds) which we can use for educational purposes.

If you have a lawfully acquired copy of the film you wish to show in any format, there is also an exception in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 Section 34 which allows you to show it on UCL premises to an audience of UCL students and staff for educational purposes.

None of the copyright exceptions apply to film clubs, which need a licence to show specific films. See the UCL Copyright Blog for more details.

Are there any copyright implications in using Lecturecast to record my lectures?

UCL has "deemed consent" to record lectures by UCL staff. Although UCL waives its rights to ownership of copyright in teaching materials created by employees, it does benefit from a broad licence to re-use them. This stems from the UCL IP Policy.

In the case of external or guest speakers: They should be asked to sign the standard Lecturer consent form. The form is used to gather permission to record their lecture and permission to re-use their copyright material. The completed "Lecturer consent forms" should retained by the UCL department which has organised the event as proof that we have the relevant permissions.

It is important to check whether the lecture includes material where the copyright belongs to someone else (not UCL or the speaker). This could be a textual quote, an image or recorded music for example. We need permission or a licence to include any "third party" copyright material. We should also check that the copyright owner and the source of any third party material are correctly acknowledged. You can find more general information about Lecturecast and more about the copyright aspects of Lecturecast.

What are the copyright considerations when using Blogs and Wikis for teaching?

It is important to consider the copyright information to accompany Blogs and Wikis created by UCL students. The starting point is that the students, as authors, will own the copyright in their blog posts or other contributions. The more publicly available the work, the more important it is to consider copyright and licensing. The blog posts will be protected by copyright automatically but it may be appropriate to apply one of the Creative Commons licences. The students should be involved in discussion of whether and how their work is to be made available for reuse. This should be part of the learning experience. Creative Commons licences permit reuse of the students work as long as the person reusing the material complies with some simple licence terms.

Students should also be aware that they need permission from the copyright owner if they include copyright-protected material by others (third party material) unless this is covered by a licence or a copyright exception. Failure to be aware of this could result in risk of copyright infringement for the student and possibly also for UCL.