Office of the University Secretary


Copyright legislation (in the UK the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended) protects certain 'works' and allows the copyright owner to control the ways in which they may legally be used. 'Works' range from literary works (books; lecture notes, etc.) and images (from those on YouTube to those in hard copy form), to sound recordings.

Unless granted permission via educational exception or special licence works protected by copyright cannot be reproduced, distributed, downloaded or otherwise used without the explicit permission of the copyright owner. For example, when you buy a DVD you buy the right to watch the film, but you can't copy the recording. The same is true of images. Always assume that any work (text, image etc.) that you have purchased or obtained for free, whether in print or online, is protected by copyright. Be mindful that you will normally be restricted in how you can use other people's works and need to ensure you have the correct permission to do so.

If you use works protected copyright without permission, you will be breaking the law (a serious copyright infringement can result in criminal charges against those involved) and you could cause serious reputational damage to yourself and the University. Copyright compliance is the responsibility of all members of the University.

The University creates quantities of copyright works. The University and its staff and students also routinely receive and use copyright works belonging to other people. All students and staff should therefore familiarise themselves with and comply with the information contained on these pages.

If you have a general copyright related query please contact the library in first instance by sending an email to