STFC Code of Practice on Copying Copyright Material

  1. The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, as amended by EC Directive 2001/29/EC (effective 31/10/2003) prohibits copying any work that is protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner.
  2. Works protected by copyright include books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, software, photographs, images and webpages. Copying includes publishing a work or making it available electronically, and printing or downloading from the internet.
  3. There are exceptions: fair dealing for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study does not require the copyright owner's permission. However, there is no clear definition of "fair dealing" or "non-commercial purposes". (Reference to the urls suggested below will help you to resolve this question.) Therefore the STFC has adopted the following rules, which are recommended by the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance. These rules apply whether you are copying material yourself or are asking others to copy material for you. These rules do not constitute legal advice.
  4. Without the permission of the copyright owner:

    4.1 provided you are copying for the purpose of non-commercial research or private study for non-commercial purposes, you may make only one copy of:

    4.2 you may not publish any material on the internet or on any network (this includes copying material from one web page to another).

  5. Because copying for any commercial purpose is not covered by the fair dealing exemption, and that exemption allows only limited copying, the permission of the copyright owner must be obtained in all other circumstances. If you wish to copy material protected by copyright for any commercial purpose, or to make more extensive copies than are permitted in paragraph 4.1, or if you wish to publish copyright protected material on the internet or any network, you must contact the Library and Information Service.
  6. You must not circumvent or try to circumvent any technical measures taken to protect any copyright work, or remove or alter, or try to remove or alter, any rights management information.
  7. Infringing copyright (copying without the owner's permission) is a serious matter: if you do not follow this code you may be breaking the law.
  8. Any breach of this code of practice will be misconduct and may result in disciplinary action under the STFC's disciplinary procedures. The level of that misconduct will depend on the nature and persistency of the breach.
  9. Manches Solicitors provided STFC with a seminar on copyright, covering the recent changes to the legislation which arise from the increase in electronic access to information. The seminar included a question and answer session. This has been condensed into a list of FAQs and is available at the following location:

    This list will be updated from time to time and will act as a useful ongoing information resource on copyright.

    You may also find the FAQs on the British Library website helpful and they are available at the following location:

  10. The seminar was web-streamed and the presentation given by Christine Reid is available at the following location and lasts for approximately one hour. (You will need Real Player or RealOne Player software to run this program.)

  11. If you are in any doubt about the legality of copying, please contact Debbie Franks at DL (ext. 3189, email or Catherine Jones at RAL (ext. 5402, email for advice before proceeding.
  12. This code of practice has been agreed by the Trade Union Side.

Director, Business and Information Technology Department