Welcome to the Copyright Guidance webpages from Loughborough University.  Please use the navigation buttons above to find information on FAQs, sourcing materials, licences or policies etc. Latest news items are listed in the blog below.

We hope that you find these webpages useful.  If you are unable to find the relevant information, or if you would prefer to discuss your query in person, then please contact either Charlotte Greasley or Funmike Ifie, the University Copyright Advisors.

E-mail: copyright@lboro.ac.uk

Telephone: 01509 222351

Worried about using Lecture Capture?

Information for Staff

A detailed explanation of copyright issues in relation to lecture capture has been produced in this guide ‘Copyright Guidelines for ReVIEW Lecture Capture ‘. revised September 2017.  Please note that if you wish to use third party copyright material within your lecture slides but are concerned about potential copyright infringement when being lecture captured, then just pause the recording when you are showing this content. The new ReView system does not include any paused or edited information in the final published recording.

There is also more information in Loughborough University’s Lecture Capture Policy which discusses the recording of lectures and copyright related issues..



762 total views, no views today

Are computer generated artworks protected by copyright?

Computer generated Rembrandt, created by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, 2017.

The latest artwork to prompt this question is a portrait which has been created by a computer in the style of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. The work was created after a computer spent months analysing the technical and aesthetic elements of Rembrandt’s works using machine learning.  The resulting portrait was of a male aged between 30-40, with facial hair, facing towards the right, and wearing dark clothes with a white collar. Computer algorithms and a 3-D printer then created the artwork based on the styles and recurring patterns found in previous Rembrandt portraits. The 3-D printer was even able to emulate the brush strokes and height of the paint to produce a convincing Rambrandt.


But where does this leave us in terms of copyright?  Thankfully under UK law this type of work is protected by copyright. The law states that “in the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the author shall be taken to be the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken”, (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, Part 1, Section 9, [3]).

However, legislation in other countries do not necessarily provide the same level of copyright protection.  If you are considering producing literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works which are computer generated and you are working collaboratively with colleagues outside of the UK. Then make sure any works which are created are made in the UK to qualify for copyright protection.

To read more about this story please the original article in The Conversation.



772 total views, 2 views today

Creative Commons “non-commercial” licensing wins court battle





Creative Commons, commonly known as CC, has won a legal battle which disputed one of its “non-commercial” licences and could have threatened the whole CC licensing model.

Creative Commons provides free easy to use standard copyright licences which allow creators to share their work with the general public.  The licence which came into question was the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 which allows users to copy and share material for non-commercial purposes as long as the original creator is credited.  This licence was used by an American non profit company, Great Minds, which creates high quality educational materials for schools.  Problems arose when a commercial company, FedEx, was asked by schools to duplicate materials for classroom distribution. Great Minds demanded royalty payments from FedEx, however, they refused.  Consequently Great Minds sued FedEx claiming the company was infringing copyright in their materials.

New York judge, Denis Hurley dismissed the Great Minds suit in February 2017, ruling that the CC licence “does not limit a licensee’s ability to use third parties in exercising the rights granted by” Great Minds.  Thus the licence cannot limit a company from being hired to make copies of the materials if the original purpose of the materials is for non commercial use. However, it was found that Great Minds claim was not unreasonable as no court had previously addressed whether or not a commercial copy service could be employed to reproduce materials protected by a CC licence.

To read more about this story see by D Kravets’ article at this link.

1,067 total views, 1 views today

New guidance booklet for PhD students

keeping-thesis-legalIf you are a PhD student and would like to make sure your thesis is kept on the right side of copyright law, then take a look at Loughborough University’s new guide on ‘Keeping your thesis legal’ at this link.

It is packed full of useful information on how to reuse third party copyright material and advice on different types of materials such as figures, maps or photographs.

The Library also runs courses on Copyright and your Thesis specifically for PhD students. The next courses will be held at Loughborough campus on: 6th December 2016 between 9:30 – 11:00am and 2nd March 2017 between 2:00 – 3:30pm. More information can be found here.

1,238 total views, 2 views today

Copyright law has changed for industrially manufactured artistic works

On the 28th July the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act came into force. Previously this meant that artistic works which were exploited as industrial designs would only be protected by copyright for 25 years from the first marketing of the product.  After this period the industrial design could be freely copied by others.  For example, if you have ever wondered why cheap copies of Mies Van Der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair, can be found on your local high-street, then this is the reason.  However, the repeal brings these works back into line with other artistic works which are protected by copyright for 70 years after the death of the creator.  This means that works which were previously out of copyright will be back under copyright protection. There is a six month embargo period until the end of January 2017 to allow shops and publishers to clear old stock and ensure that any new copies are made with the permission of the copyright owner.  Any copies which are privately owned should not be affected.

This exception will apply to both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional works, such as wallpaper, fabric, furniture and jewellery where the original design has come from an artistic work that has been copied.  However, one challenge will be identifying what constitutes a  “work of artistic craftsmanship” as there is no statutory definition.  Originally this term was added to the law in 1911 to reflect the change in what was considered to be art and protect works from William Morris’ Arts and Crafts Movement.  Ultimately if the artistic craftsmanship of a work comes into question it will be up to a judge to make the final decision in a court of law. DACS has provided guidance on this area, which is:

  1. A conscious intention to produce a work of art
  2. A real artistic or aesthetic quality
  3. A sufficient degree of craftsmanship and artistry (existing simultaneously)

For further information please refer to this guide issued by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office at this link.

1,106 total views, 1 views today

Creative Commons Image wins Italian Court Case

The contested photo of Federico Rampini at the Auditorium Santa Chiara in Trento for the Festival of Economics. CC-BY-SA 4.0

The contested photo of Niccolo Rampini at the Auditorium Santa Chiara in Trento for the Festival of Economics. By N. Caranti, 2015 CC-BY-SA 4.0

A Creative Commons photo licensed under a CC-by-SA-4.0 licence by professional photographer Federico Caranti has won a court case against the photograph’s misuse (shown left) . Last year the Festival delle Resistenze in Trentino-Alto Adige used Caranti’s photo but failed to attribute the image or release it under the same CC licence as stipulated by the licence conditions. More information about this case can be read here.


1,241 total views, 2 views today

Madonna Wins Vogue Copyright Court Case


Madonna, reproduced under CC Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0), taken by Jason H Smith, 2010.

The US Court of Appeal has ruled that Madonna’s Vogue did not infringe US copyright law by using a sample of a horn from another track which lasted for less than a second.  The sound of the horn was allegedly lifted from the Salsoul Orchestra track ‘Love Break’ and is difficult to identify without careful attention.

More information on this story can be found on the BBC’s webpage.

1,347 total views, 2 views today

New online course for University Lecturers

Are you a new lecturer or would you like to understand more about copyright in relation to your teaching? Jisc has produced a useful, online copyright course full of videos, scenarios, animations and includes a quiz at the end.

‘Copyright Training for University Lecturers’ can be seen running here http://mitchellmedia.co.uk/jisclegal/ctul/  if you want to try it before download it. Otherwise it can be downloaded from here – http://find.jorum.ac.uk/resources/10949/19261.


1,250 total views, 1 views today