Why is copyright relevant to teachers?

As a teacher, you are likely to want to photocopy, scan, and download information from books, journals, and online resources to support your learning or teaching. You may also want to reuse these materials in teaching resources. 

What can teachers do?

Specific Guidance

  • Copying is limited to a small proportion of illustration for teaching to make a specific point.
  • Copying must be non-commercial.
  • You must provide acknowledgement , if you copy.
  • A teacher or student may copy out all or part of a copyright protected work in the course of instruction (teaching). You can copy a poem on to a board, for example.
  • You may not use reprographic processes: photocopying and scanning.
  • Not more than 5% of a work can be copied in any period of 12 months.
  • Communication of the work must be by means of a secure electronic network to students and staff.

Paper copies

  • You may make copies for students on a registered course.
  • You may make one copy per student; one for each teacher.
  • This includes photocopied extracts from books and journals and printouts from digital publications.


The University must own a work to be copied or scanned. The work should be in the Library collection or owned by the University, Faculty or School. You cannot copy works owned by staff members for teaching purposes. These are specific limits:

  • one Chapter from a book.
  • one Article from a journal issue.
  • one Paper from a set of conference proceedings.
  • one scene from a play.
  • one short story or poem of not more than ten pages from an anthology.
  • one report of a single case of judicial proceedings.


  • You may distribute copies to students, such as: photocopies; within PowerPoint slides; digital copies by email.
  • You may not make more than 250 copies of any part of a newspaper.

Electronic Resources

  • You may only copy what is fair.
  • You must not copy so much that it becomes unnecessary for students to buy a copy or copies.
  • You must acknowledge the original creator of the work.
  • You may not make the work available to the public on the world-wide-web. It is irrelevant whether somebody ever reads or downloads the copied work. It is infringement.
  • You may not make excessive downloads. Publishers may detect activity involving the automated downloading of articles and other materials from databases.

Guideline YouTube

Where copyright allows, you may

  • share YouTube videos
  • provide a hyperlink to the video
  • embed the YouTube code in a presentation.

Guideline for Moodle

Staff may refer to Copyright Notice for Moodle and the Moodle Terms of Use.