Copyright for lecturers

There are exceptions to the law which will allow you to use third-party materials in your lectures and other outputs.

You are permitted to use a reasonable amount of a third-party work within your own work, provided that use is for teaching and learning purposes. This applies to PowerPoint presentations, course packs, study guides, your course VLE and lecture recordings. You can use these extracts under the following conditions:

  • the use of the work is necessary and relevant to the point you are making and
  • the work is cited

If you need more detail, you can find out more about fair dealing and how to use specific types of works here.

Panopto Recordings

The rules for reusing other people's works do not change because the presentation is recorded and hosted on Canvas. You are still permitted by law to use third-party content under the conditions outlined above.

If you are browsing to external websites or playing extended extracts from videos or audio it is advisable to pause the recording as resume when the clip has finished.  Extended clips can be played within a teaching and learning setting, but the recording may require separate permission.  If you need to record extended clips please refer to the Licence page or contact to discuss your needs.

Please refer to clause 1.7 of the University’s Code of Practice on Lecture Capture for information about ownership in Panopto recordings.

If you are making your presentation available public or for commercial purposes, please contact to discuss your needs  as you are advised to seek permission from the rights holder before reusing a work.

Resource lists and scanning

The University now asks academics to use ResourceLists@Bham in order to request any digitisations which you’d like to share with your students. When a digitisation request is made through this platform, the Digitisation Service will create and upload a high quality scan back into the List for your students to access and use, all in full compliance with university licences and copyright law. Find out more about how to create and add works to your resource list, including requesting digitisations.

Generally speaking, we are permitted to make a scan of up to 10% or one chapter of any one volume per module, whichever is the greater.  Please see the Licences for information about the CLA licence which covers photocopying and scanning.

Exam papers and assessments

Any copyright work can be copied for the purposes of setting an exam or answering an examination question following the ‘fair dealing’ questions.



If the citation, required by the questions, would give your students a hint as to the answer in an assessment you don’t have to provide one.

Possible examples that would be permissible might include:

  • Providing photocopies of extracts from a core text instead of originals would be allowed and would not be an infringement of copyright.
  • Using an extract of several pages from an average-length novel and examining the students on this text, could be ‘Fair Dealing’     


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