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Copyright Law FAQ

 

Copyright & Related Rights Regulations 2003 

(Statutory Instrument 2003 No.2498)

What impact will the 2003 regulations have for me?

Until 31 October 2003 the NMBL, as a prescribed library, was able to supply copies of papers under “library privilege” and library users were entitled to photocopy papers for the purpose of research or private study (fair dealing).  The new legislation which comes into force on 31 October 2003 had  the following impact:

  • To remove fair dealing and library privilege exceptions to copyright for copies made for a commercial purpose.
  • Self-service photocopying for a commercial purpose is not allowed unless it is covered by a licence. This affects copying in the NMBL and elsewhere in the laboratories.
  • A copyright fee (£9 inc VAT) must be paid for any copies made for commercial purposes whether you copy something yourself or request a copy to be made by the library. 
  • Copies obtained from the British Library will also require the appropriate copyright fee to be paid. Charges vary according to the journal title and range from 50 pence to £150.

What is commercial copying?

The DTI define commercial copying as being to do with making money either for yourself or your employer. 

It makes no difference that your employer is not a commercial company.

The onus is on you to decide on the reason for copying and to make an honest declaration.

What should I do?

Non-commercial/Private Study

If your copy is required for private study or non-commercial research, then you should sign a copyright declaration form if you are requesting a photocopy from the NMBL or from the British Library.  If you are copying material yourself you need take no action provided you stay within the limits stated by law.

Commercial Copying

If your copy is required for commercial purposes, then you do not need to sign a form, but need to either:

  • Purchase a CLA sticker from the library to licence your copy, provided it is covered by the CLA’s licensing scheme.
  • Check that copying done outside the library is covered by an appropriate CLA licence
  • If neither of the above applies, contact the copyright owner for permission.
  • Ensure that you declare that the copy is for commercial purposes when you request material from the British Library

So what is considered to be a commercial purpose? 

The types of research below are thought to be either commercial or non-commercial.  Please note that this does not constitute legal advice and no responsibility can be accepted for any action taken by readers based on the information provided. Copyright law is complex and occasionally ambiguous. This  is intended as a quick reference guide and you are advised to seek legal advice for your specific circumstances.  Library staff cannot provide advice.

Non-commercial/Private study

Commercial

Government/EU funded research. Guidance given to the CLA suggests that research would be classified as non-commercial if it is funded by third parties and not exploited. However, if the laboratory in question were to exploit that
research (e.g. license, sell, publish etc) then that would make the research (and therefore any copying) commercial.

Government/EU funded research. Guidance given suggests that research where results will
be passed to a commercial company for commercial use would be deemed to be 'commercial'. In this case it is thought that the research would be classified as non-commercial if it is funded by third parties and not exploited. However, if the laboratory in question were to exploit that research (e.g. license, sell, publish etc) then that would make the research (and therefore any copying) commercial.

Student projects

Work funded by a grant from a commercial company.

Criticism or review

Any copying done by consultants

Preparation of an article for a scholarly journal- unless you will be paid for it

Preparation of an article for a scholarly journal if you are paid for it

Work done by a student sponsored by a commercial company

Preparation of a book or chapter where royalties are expected

Preparation for a conference paper unless speaker gets a fee

Preparation for a conference paper if speaker gets a fee

Work done as part of professional development

University research sponsored by a commercial company

Copying done by students on day release from their employer as part of a course

Necessary for satisfying regulatory requirement

Preparation of lecture notes

Work relevant to market research, marketing company R&D

Does the purchase of a sticker allow me to copy from all publications?

No.   CLA licences only cover material published in UK, Australia, Canada (inc Quebec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (inc Liechtenstein) and also selected publishers in the USA.

If you intend to copy a publication which is on the CLA’s Excluded Works List, i.e. not covered by the Copyright Licensing Agency’s agreements you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder prior to copying (this is usually the publisher of the journal).  The onus is on you to obtain permission.

 CLA Excluded Works

  • Works published outside the UK, Australia, Canada (inc Quebec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (inc Liechtenstein) and USA (only certain publishers in the USA participate in the scheme - see the US Publisher’s list
  • Maps, charts or books of tables
  • Works specifically excluded by a special notice mentioning CLA, either on the work itself or by inclusion on the list below
  • Tests or public examination papers whether published individually or in a collection
  • All UK Newspapers. 
  • Privately owned documents issued for tuition purposes and limited to clientele who pay fees (except those published by the Open University or the National Extension College)
  • Workbooks, workcards, or assignment sheets
  • Industrial house journals

 A full list of excluded works can be found on the CLA website.  A copy is also held in the NMBL reference section and in the PML reading room

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS NOTICE IS FOR GUIDANCE ONLY.  IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES REGARDING COPYRIGHT, YOU SHOULD SEEK LEGAL ADVICE BEFORE COPYING. 

LIBRARY STAFF ARE NOT ABLE TO GIVE ADVICE ON THIS MATTER.

REMEMBER THAT THE ONUS IS ON YOU TO REMAIN WITHIN COPYRIGHT LAW.


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