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Politics, International Studies & Philosophy: Copyright and Licences

Copyright for teaching purposes

When selecting resources and materials for teaching purposes including uploading to Canvas, it's important to ensure that an appropriate licence is in place for copyright material. Relevant licences are listed below.

The only exception allowed under UK copyright legislation provides for the additional limited use of video and sound files. The exception is also noted below. Licences should otherwise be used, or specific permission sought from the copyright holder.


CLA Copyright Licence

The CLA (Copyright Licencing Agency) Higher Education Licence allows a scan of a single book chapter or article from a journal – or up to 10% of the book content, whichever is the greatest. The chapter or article must

  • be scanned or photocopied from a print copy held by the Library. Subject to the CLA Licence's repertoire, you may also be able to request extracts from digitial publications.
  • use a standard cover note supplied by the Library.

The Library provides a scanning service and ensures the details of each scan are passed to the CLA. This

  • enables the payment of royalties to copyright owners
  • ensures compliance with terms of the licence

Scanning from print and the use of multiple photocopies would not otherwise be permitted under the ‘fair dealing’ or ‘library privilege’ provisions that form part of copyright law.

The photocopy, and often scanning element of the licence also covers publications from much of Europe, Canada, Australia and other territories. Most US publishers are included in the photocopying element of the licence and some US publishers opt in ISBNs to permit scanning.  

Copies can only be made under licence if the original is available in Queen’s, or alternatively, if a ‘copyright cleared’ copy has been requested from the British Library and if the publication is covered under the CLA Licence repertoire. The Library provides this service and makes the images available to you for uploading to Canvas. This also ensures these copies are only used by students or staff of Queen’s University.


Publisher licences where Queen’s has a subscription to a journal

Publisher licences allowing online access to journal articles where Queen’s has a subscription generally allow upload to Queen’s Online as a means of distributing articles to students taking a particular module. Many of licences are based on the JISC model licence, which gives an indication of what is likely to be allowed. 

The JISC model licence is only a guide however. Individual licences apply for the relevant subscription.


ERA Licence

The university ERA+ licence  from the Education Recording Agency allows the use of material recorded off-air from most UK broadcasters. All scheduled free to air radio and television broadcasts may be recorded, on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player, Demand 5 and S4C are also included. The use of recordings includes the use of virtual learning environments such as Canvas for the showing of recorded broadcasts. Further information and advice is available from the Broadcast Content for Education website.


NLA Newspaper Licence

The NLA Licence allows copying from UK national newspapers and up to five regional newspapers for students (Newspapers are specifically excluded from the CLA Licence).

The licence allows scan and upload to Queen’s online.  Emails to students and photocopy distribution are also permitted.


Creative Commons Licences

A range of licences allowing copyright holders to specify the conditions under which others can copy or distribute their works. All types of creative commons licence allow upload to Queen’s Online with attribution. Some also allow for modification and reuse. Look for the CC symbol to confirm that a work has been published under a creative commons licence.

Articles and papers held in university repositories typically use Creative Commons licences enabling reuse for teaching purposes. ‘Open access’ research papers can be searched from the Core site.

Articles and papers published on websites with no accompanying licence statement should not be used.

Care should also be taken with images to ensure that rights are not in fact retained by a copyright owner.  Image sites may show a creative commons attribution that has been incorrectly claimed. A number of key image sites for creative commons searching is also available.


Open Government Licence

The UK Open Government Licence allows the free copying and distribution of UK official publications. However, use under the licence requires that the publication uploaded to Queen’s Online carries the explicit statement that it has been made available under the Open Government Licence.


Copyright exception for video and audio files

Up to 5% of a video or audio file can be uploaded in any one year under exceptions allowing the use of extracts for education in UK copyright law (s.36 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988). However broadcasts and single images (standalone artistic works) are specifically excluded. This follows revisions incorporated into the Act in 2014.  The Code of Fair Practice for Film Educators in the UK is designed to help "in navigating the complex landscape of copyright and promoting the lawful use of audiovisual materials for educational purposes".

Course Packs

The creation of ‘Course packs’ has largely been replaced by uploading content to Canvas and the Library can support this through the Scanned Extracts service. However, should you wish to create a course pack, your School will be able to assist. 

The same restrictions apply on the quantity of copying per item, i.e. 1 chapter or up to 10% of a book / one article from a journal issue.

Queen’s can charge students and staff a fee sufficient to cover the administrative costs associated with creating a course pack. However, photocopies made under the licence cannot be sold (or hired out) for profit.

Copying is permitted to ensure that every student enrolled for a module (and the relevant tutors) can receive a copy of the licensed extracts to be used. The number of copies should not exceed the number of students enrolled.

Box of Broadcasts

BOB allows users to record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels; and search our archive of over 2.2 million broadcasts.

Excluded Material

Some material cannot be copied under the CLA copying licence: this includes printed music; maps, charts or books of tables; and bibles, liturgical works and orders of service.

Unpublished works, e.g. theses, dissertations, internally produced reports, minutes etc, are not covered.