* 31st July 2020 – Teaching staff please note that the information contained within this website applies during normal teaching conditions in lecture or seminar rooms.  During the current Covid-19 situation, revised, detailed copyright guidance which is applicable to pre-recorded sessions or those streamed via live online delivery has been made available on the new  Teaching and Learning 2020 webpages*.

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 222399 (Monday-Wednesday) or 01509 222351 (Wednesday – Friday)

Keeping your thesis legal

Decorative image

By Alexandre Duret-Lutz, 2006. Reproduced under CC Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0). https://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/320300354

If 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 the guide below.  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.

Also remember that the Library runs courses on Copyright and your Thesis specifically for PhD students.  More information can be found here.

PDF format of ‘Keeping Your Thesis Legal – 2019’

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Protecting our IP

If you are an academic you can help to protect your lecture slides, handouts or other materials by reminding students that the intellectual property is owned by the University.  Over the last few years we have seen an increase in websites trading on university owned materials.  Help to make sure your lecture slides do not end up on these sites by educating your students about copyright infringement.  A PPT slide reminding students not to share Loughborough University materials is available here.  It can be added to the end of lecture slides or adapted to suit other types of materials.

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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..



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Are computer generated artworks protected by copyright?

Image of computer generated Rembrandt, created by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, 2017.

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.

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Creative Commons “non-commercial” licensing wins court battle

Image of Creative Commons logo

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.

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New guidance booklet for PhD students

Photograph of publication on Keeping you 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.

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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.

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