Copyright is a property right whose main purpose is to allow the author or creator of a work to control and exploit its use.

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Copyright works can be copied for certain purposes under the "fair dealing" principle without breaching copyright. This will often apply in the university when copying or citing for the purpose of research and private study or for the purpose of criticism and review.

Fair dealing applies to limited extracts and other people's works should always be acknowledged using the academic practice of citation. When copying and distribution go beyond fair dealing, further licences, permissions, investigations and risk assessments are required.

Copyright is infringed where a whole or ‘substantial part’ of a work has been used without permission and no exceptions to copyright apply.  A ‘substantial part’ of a work is not defined in law and may be quite small. 

Guidelines for working with copyright licences

Scans for the Reading list system and the VLE must be provided and recorded by the Library, and all requests should be made using the Goldsmiths Digital Copy Request form.

Please allow as much lead time as possible for requests to be processed.

Works to be scanned must be owned by the College or copyright-cleared.

The Library does not charge departments for this service.

Design and Print Services' request form includes a check on copyright status of material to be copied.

Copyright material for use in Course Packs must either be covered by the CLA Licence, or you must have permission to copy and distribute it for that purpose.

If you have been provided with a CLA checked digital copy by the Library, you may under the terms of licence provide that file to Design and Print to produce a single paper copy for students on the specific course.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is the off-air recording and media archive service available to staff and students of Goldsmiths as members of the British Universities Film & Video Council with an ERA+ license.

This TV scheduling service allows recording of TV and radio programmes that are scheduled to be broadcast over the next seven days as well as retrieving programmes from the last seven days from a selected list of recorded channels.

There is also access to an extensive archive. BoB material is accessed on the web by a streaming service similar to iPlayer and can be embedded in the VLE or Reading List system for access within the UK.

Films may usually be shown for educational purposes under CDPA, see sections 34 and 35, but if you want to show a film or play recorded music to an audience or at an event open to the public, you are likely to require a licence.

The companies Filmbank or MPLC provide licences.

There is more guidance from JISC: Films, television broadcasts and the law.

Only students on these programmes are allowed to make copies of printed music: 

  • BMus Music
  • Integrated Degree in Music (including Foundation Year)
  • MA Music (Musicology)
  • MMus Performance and Related Studies

Registering printed copies

You do this with Printed Music Licensing Ltd (PMLL):

  1. Go to PMLL's portal
  2. Click ‘Submit Data’
  3. Fill in the form

Finding publishers who have approved copying of their work

PMLL's website lists publishers who allow copying for Higher Education.

They also list publishers who have opted out. Some have only excluded arrangements of their works.

Copying work not listed by PMLL

If the publisher isn't listed, make the copy and submit the data. PMLL will reach out to the publisher following the copy. 

Help and advice

Contact if you have questions.

When you intend to put your own and other's material on the web, you will need to make decisions about managing copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

There are tools and guidance available to help you make risk-based decisions about whether to upload to the web, such as Web2Rights' Risk Management Calculator or

Bear in mind that if copyright work is shown in a College-made video (eg in a PowerPoint presentation), and you then put the video on the web, this is subject to the same obligations as more direct publication of the same material would have.

Students own the copyright of their own work under copyright law, except as under contract.

PhD students should see the guide to Copyright in PhD theses and the registration pack for PhD examination which includes copyright permission forms.

The repository GRO is a showcase for research by academics at Goldsmiths.

Research outputs may be made Open Access (OA) here, if the author or creator owns the copyright, or has permission from the copyright owner, often the publisher.

GRO provides Creative Commons licences which can be applied to materials in the archive. The deposit guide gives more advice about copyright with a link to ROMEO the index of publishers' policies on self-archiving by academics.

There are many resources available which can be shared, remixed and re-used freely and legally, use Search at Creative Commons (cc), or see JISC Digital Media below to find out more. Creative Commons licences can be attached to work published on the internet to indicate that it may be re-used in certain way. TaLIC can also give advice on finding such material.

Humanities and Social Sciences Monograph Authors - explores concerns about CC expressed in public evidence given by researchers, learned societies and publishers.

CLA User Guidelines for the HE Licence Information about size of extracts from sources and lists of exclusions for copying and inclusions for e-journals are available on the CLA website.

Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, with revisions

- Section 29 Permitted acts for research and private study, "Fair dealing"

- Section 31 Disabled persons

- Section 34 Performing, playing or showing work educational establishment

- Section 35 Broadcasts and off-air recordings

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014

Intellectual Property Office, Copyright

JISC: Intellectual property rights in a digital world

Copyright User

Please note: the contents of these pages do not constitute legal advice and the College can not accept responsibility for any loss or damage incurred as a result of acting upon information provided here. The guidelines outlined here apply to the UK only.

Copyright Licences (current year)

Copyright and IP Regulations

All use of copyright materials at Goldsmiths must be in accordance with copyright law including the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 and subsequent amending legislation, The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014, copyright licences held by the College and Regulations.


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