Tips for getting copyright right

copyrightI’ve had some questions about copyright recently so thought I’d share a few tips …

1. All reproduction from published material is subject to copyright law. The UK Copyright Service provides a really helpful factsheet.

2. 70 is the magic number – In UK copyright law, copyright for literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works lasts 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.   For instance, as Aldous Huxley died in 1963, his works will not be out of copyright until 2033.

3. While downloadable versions of publications can be found freely available on the internet,  always check the source and its terms and conditions. Some websites hosted outside of the UK provide materials that potentially violate UK law. Unfortunately if it looks too good to be true – it probably is.

4. The University of Edinburgh has signed up to a licensing scheme which allows photocopying from publications for individual research and study.  This means copies can be made of up to a chapter, entire article or 5% of the publication, whichever is the greater.

5. The University of Edinburgh ereserve service has a licence to allow the scanning of book chapters and journal articles to be made available to classes for teaching purposes. It is the only legal route for scanning published materials to make them available to groups at the University.

6. More information can be found at  the University of Edinburgh’s Copyright Service, including a contact e-mail address for enquiries.