Certain exceptions only apply if the use of the work is a fair dealing. For example, the exceptions relating to research and private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.
Fair dealing’ is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?
Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:
does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair.
is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate? Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? Usually only part of a work may be used.
The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.
© Crown Copyright.
IPO Copyright information is licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0.
Unless the work is out of copyright, you can only copy someone else's work:
under an exception in copyright law that permits certain acts of copying without the permission of the copyright owner. Many of these exceptions are particularly beneficial to the type of work undertaken by students and academics.
Even if a work is out of copyright, proper credit should still be given to the creator through referencing or an attribution.
Who owns the copyright?
In general, the author or creator of the work owns the copyright. For example, in the context of Higher Education, students own their own copyright.
However, if work is created by an employee in the course of their employment, the copyright is owned by their employer. This means the University of Northampton owns the copyright of material created by staff as part of their employment.
For more information on the ownership of copyright works, see the specific IPO Ownership of Copyright Works web pages.
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.