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Copyright and licensing in Higher Education: Support for people with disabilities

Support for people with disabilities

There are two exceptions to copyright for the benefit of disabled people. These exceptions cover you if you have a physical or mental impairment which prevents you from accessing copyright protected materials.

Exception 1

One exception allows you, or someone acting on your behalf, to make a copy of a lawfully obtained copyright work if you make it in a format that helps you access the material. For example, if you buy a book from a shop then make a Braille copy to help with a visual impairment then you are not infringing the copyright in the book.

You are entitled to make an accessible copy, or have someone else make one for you, if:

  • you lawfully own, or have the right to use a copy of the work (for example, you own it or have borrowed it from a library), but the work is inaccessible because of a physical or mental impairment
  • a copy that would be accessible to you is not commercially available

© Crown Copyright.

IPO Copyright information is licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0. open government licence logo

Exception 2

The second exception permits educational establishments and charity organisations, in this case the University of Northampton library, to make accessible format-copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. The exception permits acts such as:

  • making braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually-impaired people
  • adding audio-description to films or broadcasts for visually-impaired people
  • making sub-titled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people
  • making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people

However, this exception does not apply when suitable accessible copies are commercially available.

Please note that no-one can make a profit out of helping you make an accessible copy, but they are able to charge a fee covering any costs they incur in making and supplying such a copy.

Email LLS.support@northampton.ac.uk for more information about how Library and Learning Services can support University of Northampton students under this exception.

© Crown Copyright.

IPO Copyright information is licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0. open government licence logo

Disclaimer

This information is for general guidance and background information only and does not constitute legal advice. The University of Northampton does not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of relying on information contained on this website.

Acknowledgement

Much of this content has been adapted and reproduced from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Open Government Licence v.3.0. Where content has been derived in this manner, it has been attributed as follows:

© Crown Copyright.

IPO Copyright information is licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0. open government licence logo

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