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Copyright: Information for Teachers

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

My Copyright Responsibilities (VLE)

All contributors to Canvas modules are reminded of their obligation to comply with the terms of the University CLA Licence, the University Digital Acceptable Use policy and to abide by U.K. copyright law. You must ensure that any teaching material added to the VLE falls into one of the following categories:
  • The staff member is the copyright holder
  • The material is out of copyright (expired)
  • The staff member has been given the right to use material by the copyright holder
  • Use of the material is allowed under The Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 (CDPA)
  • Use of the material is licensed under the Open Government License or a Creative Commons License
  • An excerpt from published material has been digitised under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education License

Key Points


  • You can copy an insubstantial part of a work to illustrate a teaching point (e.g. a few lines of text, or a short clip from a film)
  • The use of the work must only be for non-commercial purposes
  • The use must comply with the principles of fair dealing 
  • You must provide sufficient acknowledgement of the original source
  • More extensive use of copyright materials comes under the terms and restrictions of the educational licenses held by the University. For example, do not upload published book chapters or articles to the VLE. You need to produce digital copies from library print content under the terms of the CLA Licence so that your students can benefit from direct online access to high-demand course reading. The Library provides a staff focused service to help with course content provision.

Lecture Capture

Panopto for Lecture Capture at Swansea University 
Find further information on the service and link to the Lecture Recording Policy
Panopto is integrated into the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) allowing lecture recordings and course material to be accessed and managed in one place.

Swansea University expect staff using the Lecture Capture service to comply with all applicable UK & European copyright legislation. Copyright is very important where lectures are being recorded and it is the responsibility of the staff member to ensure that they do not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party. Recordings created using lecture capture are copyright works in their own right and are provided for personal research, private study or course activities. Recordings are subject to the institutional Takedown Policy where necessary and should not be shared publicly.

Lecturers may include material where copyright rests with a third party if one of the following applies:

a. An educational exception has been granted under UK copyright law (CDPA 1988):

  • material is being used for quotation; for the purpose of illustration for instruction; for the purpose of criticism and review, or for the purpose of parody or pastiche

If using one of these exceptions then use must be considered 'fair dealing' and you must consider the following:

  • the work must be legitimately available to the public 
  • the extent of any copying must not exceed an amount greater than strictly necessary for the specific purpose
  • the use should not be detrimental to the commercial rights of the rights holder
  • unless use of the work is genuinely required it should not be included
  • copying must be done by the person giving or receiving instruction
  • copying must be for non-commercial purposes only
  • the extract(s) must be sufficiently acknowledged

b. Other factors apply:

  • Copyright has expired or been waived
  • You have obtained permission from the copyright holder. You must abide by the terms of use specified by the rights holder
  • You are able to use an open licence, such as Creative Commons
  • You make a copy under the terms of a licence held by the University, such as the CLA HE Licence, the Educational Recording Agency Licensing Scheme (ERA) or licensed content 
  • This material can only be provided to students on a particular course of study and not shared on a public online platform

Copyright, & Library Support

You must consider the content you wish to include in online courses and take a risk based approach to using material that is protected by copyright.  You should consider whether you can legally access and use material under license or covered by the CDPA educational exceptions. These exceptions such as S.32 'Illustration for Instruction' are powerful and we should seek to utilise them when we cannot use a license. 

Think about using e-books; create links to journals in the Library catalogue or use the free Digitisation Service to support online provision for digitised course readings in Canvas.
Visit our Online Library for additional resources to support online teaching.
Search for Open Access content.
See OER Commons, OpenStax or MERLOT for example Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Can I use my own publications in the VLE?

You may not be the copyright holder for the published work.
The rights usually belong to the publisher unless you retained copyright when you signed the publisher's copyright transfer agreement. If your article or book is not published using a Creative Commons licence or similar, you would normally need to reproduce any part required for your teaching under the terms of the CLA HE Licence.

Artificial Intelligence Resources (Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching)

Finding Open Access Resources

CDPA Educational Exception - Copying for the Purpose of Instruction

Illustration for instruction exception (CDPA)

You are permitted to copy limited amounts of copyright material provided it is for non-commercial teaching purposes.  This applies to copying by a person giving or receiving instruction, or preparing for giving or receiving instruction. 

The use of copyright works in the classroom must be subject to the 'fair dealing' test and is only applicable to material that has been made publicly available. Unpublished works are not covered by this exception relating to education. The 'illustration for instruction' exception extends copying of works to any medium, for example interactive whiteboards and presentations.

  • You will need to interpret 'fair dealing' and make common sense decisions that you feel comfortable defending. You may find it useful to ask yourself a few questions about how you intend to use a third-party work within your teaching. 
    • Is use of the work necessary in order to demonstrate your point? 
    • Are you going to use an insubstantial amount of the work? A quote or a short extract?
    • Will the way you use the work make it unlikely for anyone to want to purchase the original? We usually own or license content used in teaching and are potentially increasing sales of the original
  • Use of the work must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement
  • This exception cannot be overridden by contract
  • Using copyright works to prepare and communicate for examination purposes is subject to limited 'fair dealing'. You may also rely on the quotation exception; however this does not extend to making a copy of a musical work for a candidate to perform during examination
  • Copying and using extracts from print material for student handouts and for inclusion in the VLE is done under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence.
  • Access to complete broadcasts and films is bound by the terms of the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence.

Section 32, CDPA

Using Licenses for Learning & Teaching

CLA Logo     The Copyright Licensing Agency HE License
Digitised course readings from published works for delivery to students via the VLE


The Digitisation Service offers a free service for academic staff providing:
  • High-quality digital copies in text-searchable PDF format for accessibility
  • Compliance with copyright and CLA HE Licence terms
  • Online access via user-friendly links
  • Usage statistics to inform your teaching
  • Digital scans will link directly to your reading list or you can use the permanent url we provide in Canvas
  • Where a subscription exists to an e-version of the work, please link to the Library catalogue using a permalink
This is a staff-focused service to support the provision of copyright-compliant teaching material. 

Further information is available via the Request Digitisation iFind Reading Guide.

Video, broadcasts and sound

Copyright and the use of educational materials online

Use subscription resources (University login required)
Try Box of Broadcasts (BoB).

There is a full list of AV resources in the Moving Image Gateway on this guide.
Use CDPA 'fair dealing' principles if not using subscription content:

  • Is it necessary for the purpose of instruction?
  • Will the way you use the work make it unlikely for anyone to want to purchase the original?
  • Can you limit the extent of the content used under ‘fair dealing’? i.e. insubstantial clips
  • Use of the work must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement and be for a non-commercial purpose.

Take a risk managed approach to using AV material

A combination of CDPA Section 32 & Section 34 may offer the flexibility to defend screening digital works online in a restricted VLE (Canvas). This would be restricted to registered student module groups in support of learning and teaching activities.This activity would not extend to any other circumstances.

Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 (CDPA)
S.32 Illustration for Instruction
S.34 Performing, playing or showing work in course of activities of educational establishment

ERA Streaming Platform

Search ERA Radio and TV Services

Sources of broadcast material include on demand services like BBC iPlayer, ITV player, Channel 4oD, 5 Television and On Demand 5, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. 

The University holds an Educational Recording Licence (ERA) to support educators to make the most of television and radio programmes broadcast in the UK. This licence allows you to use and record broadcast media via remote access to students and staff in the VLE (Canvas).

You may watch or listen to streamed audio or video for educational, non-commercial use within the UK under the terms of the ERA licensing scheme. You can share and embed clips or programmes in the VLE provided you use acknowledgement. Registration required - use your university credentials.



Section 35, CDPA is applicable to this activity.

On our Using Images tab on this guide you can access the Moving Image Gateway which contains an extensive list of audio visual resources for finding film, archival and video content online.

  • DVDs purchased commercially may be shown in a classroom setting.
  • You can take a short clip from audio or DVD for Canvas or for a PowerPoint, provided it is to illustrate a point.
    • Fair dealing applies, so don't use more than required for the intended purpose. Include an acknowledgement, citing the title/producer/director/year of the work.
  • ​You are not usually permitted to add entire films to Canvas but there may be circumstances where it is appropriate to copy and communicate entire films in teaching by reference to CDPA section 32.
    Please complete an online form where it is relevant to request film digitisation. A member of staff will contact you upon receipt. Allow 21 days for requests to be processed.
  • Podcasts that you download from the web are normally freely available to use. Ensure that you check the accompanying statement or re-use license for clarity. 
  • YouTube resources: linking out to the YouTube player is preferable to embedding code in your teaching materials. Capture a link to a video by using the 'share' option. Copy the link to the VLE.
    • Does the person posting the content have the authority to do so?  Do not link to any material you suspect infringes copyright. You may decide that you only want to use channels with a verification tick next to the YouTube channel name. Check their Terms of Service
    • Content on YouTube can be removed with little warning. 
    • Students creating content for uploading to YouTube should ensure that they do not include third party content without permission or where fair dealing is not applicable.
  • Where you have a subscription to a streaming service the combination of sections 32 and 34 should provide reasonable flexibility to show extracts and feature films in class to illustrate an educational point without having to obtain additional permission.
  • Netflix Educational Streaming of Documentaries. Some Netflix Original educational documentaries are available for one-time educational screenings. To find out which titles are available for educational screenings, visit and search for the title or browse. Titles that are available for educational screening will display the grant of permission on their details page.

Section 32 CDPASection 34 CDPA 

An educational establishment is permitted to perform, play or show a copyright work for the purpose of instruction or assessment as part of an accredited course. The audience must consist of students, teachers and others connected to the establishment.

Should you want to use a film in online teaching please read the guidance paper provided by Emily Hudson.
Hudson, Emily, Updated Copyright Guidance for Using Films, Audiovisual Works and Images in Online Teaching: Beyond the Covid Pandemic (February 24, 2022). Available at SSRN: or
Please allow a minimum of 21 days if requesting support for screening digital works online in Canvas from DVD.

Section 34, CDPA.

Performance of audio and audio-visual recordings is not permitted for members of the public or others not connected to the university without first obtaining permission or a suitable license.

You should be careful if intending to use commercial music within your teaching content. You would probably need to obtain permission from the composer, music publisher and the recording company. This is likely to be extremely difficult to achieve.

It may be possible to use very short extracts of music in teaching for the purpose of illustration for instruction or criticism and review. Use of music clips in this way would need to have no commercial impact on copyright holders.