Cardiff University Copyright Policy


Version Number: 1.0
Document Status: Approved
Date Approved: 29 June 2015
Approved By: Information Security Review Group
Effective Date: 29 June 2015
Date of Next Review: 29 June 2016








  1. Cardiff University (the University) is committed to promoting and encouraging an environment which values creativity and in which third party material is used fairly and lawfully. As such, the purpose of this policy is to protect the University as well as staff and students against claims of copyright infringement and in doing so, the University recognises and protects the rights of creators of original works.


  1. This policy applies, unless stated otherwise, to all members of the University, contractors, agency staff and volunteers engaged in the course of Cardiff University Business and all students.
  1. This policy covers the use of all third party copyright protected, printed, electronic and digital material (including, works stored on local and remote drives and on internet sites) which are used within the scope of University activity.
  1. This policy sits within the context of UK law, with particular reference to:
  • 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act;
  • 1989 Copyright (Librarians and Archivists) Regulations;
  • 2002 Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act;
  • 2003 Copyright and Related Rights Regulations;
  • 2014 Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations
  • 2014 Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations;
  • 2014 Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations;
  • 2014 Copyright and Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) Regulations;
  • All other related legislation which governs the management of intellectual property as well as legislation that amends and revises existing UK legislation.
  1. It is only concerned with the use of third party copyright material. It does not cover the University’s ownership of copyright in materials created by staff and students. This is covered in detail by the University’s Intellectual Property Policy which states the University’s position regarding the copyright ownership and the rights of staff and students in materials created by them.
  1. It does not cover software or the use made of the University Network by members of staff and students when dealing with copyrighted materials. This is covered by the University IT Regulations and University Acceptable Use Policy (IT Facilities), which contain sections on infringement and acceptable use.

Relationship with existing policies

This policy forms part of the Information Security Management Framework. It should be read in conjunction both with the Information Security Policy and the following:

  • University IT Regulations
  • University Acceptable Use Policy
  • University Intellectual Property Policy
  • Academic Regulations Handbook
  • IT and Library Handbook
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Staff Disciplinary Procedures
  • Cardiff University’s Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Misconduct in Academic Research.

Policy Statement

  1. Copyright is the legal protection given to creators of original material against unauthorised exploitation of their work, as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended (CDPA1988).
  1. Copyright subsists in all works that are covered by the CPDA1988. For the avoidance of doubt copyright works include literary works, artistic works (including photographs, drawings, graphic designs and logos), musical works, dramatic works, sound recordings, broadcasts and film.
  1. The rights enjoyed by copyright owners are divided into two main categories: 1. the exclusive rights of the copyright owner, and, 2. the moral rights (when asserted) of the creator. It is important to recognise these rights to ensure that they are not infringed. These rights are set out more fully in the definitions.
  1. Infringement of copyright by staff or students, may expose both the individual and the University to possible legal action and claims for substantial damages. Any infringement of copyright is considered by the University to be a disciplinary matter which may result in appropriate action being taken in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedure.
  1. Staff and students may not reproduce copyright works other than to the extent permitted by law or by appropriate licences or permissions from the copyright owner.
  1. Provided certain conditions apply, copying may be permissible under exceptions found in the CDPA1988. These include:
  • For non-commercial research or private study.
  • For criticism, review and news reporting.
  • Quotation.
  • Caricature, parody or pastiche.
  • Educational exceptions:

o  Illustration for instruction.

       Includes copying for the purposes of examination.

o  Recording by educational establishments of broadcasts.

o  Copying and use of extracts of works by educational establishments.


  1. Note, often the user of these exceptions is required to apply their own judgement as to whether or not their copying would be defendable. Further information on these exceptions can be found on the Intellectual Property Officer website,


  1. The senior officer responsible for the University’s compliance with UK Copyright Law is the Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO).
  1. On behalf of the Senior Information Risk Owner, the Director of Strategic Planning and Governance shall be responsible for ensuring that policy, advice, guidance and training on copyright compliance is developed and disseminated across the University.
  1. All heads of Professional Services and Schools are responsible for creating a compliant environment.
  1. Members of the University are required to exercise personal responsibility when using third party copyright works to ensure that the appropriate permission has been obtained.


  1. Copyright infringement can be subject to penalties including fines and imprisonment under civil and criminal law. Any member of the University who breaches this policy may be held personally liable for their actions and may be subject to appropriate internal disciplinary procedures.
  1. All alleged breaches of the Copyright Policy shall be notified to the University IT Service Desk as per the Information Security Incident Management Procedure.
  1. In accordance with that procedure the Governance Officer shall advise on the implications, potential remedies and mitigation actions in response to an alleged breach.

Further Information

Copyright Licences

  1. The CDPA1988 encourages the setting up of Licensing Schemes to extend permitted copying in return for fees that are returned to copyright owners. The University subscribes to a number of these schemes.
  2. These include:

22.1.  The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Copying Licence.

Permits copying from most Books, Journals and Periodicals.

22.2.  The Newspaper Licensing Association (NLA) administered by the CLA.

Permits copying from National Newspapers and some local and international newspapers.

22.3.  The Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence.

Permits copying from off-air broadcasts from its list of member organisations.

Members of the University are required to adhere strictly to the terms of any such schemes to which the University subscribes.

For further information about these licensing schemes and the acts of copying permitted by law, please visit


Third party copyright

Third party copyright refers to copyright works created by someone other than yourself.

Exclusive (Economic) rights of the copyright owner:

  • Copy the work
  • Issue copies of the work to the public (includes publishing on the intranet/VLE)
  • Rent or lend the work to the public
  • Perform show or play the work in public
  • Communicate the work to the public – this includes broadcasting of a work and also electronic transmission.
  • Make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation

As with other forms of property, exclusive rights can be sold, left in a will or licenced for use.

Author’s moral rights

There are three moral rights recognised in the UK and if infringed, an author can claim damages:

  1. The right to be identified as the creator of the work (paternity right)
  • This right needs to be asserted before it applies
  1. The right to object to derogatory treatment of a work (‘the right of integrity’) this include:
  • Distortion
  • Mutilation of the work
  • Prejudice to the honour or reputation of the author
  1. The right to object to false attribution (false attribution right)

Moral rights cannot be assigned to anyone else, but can be waived.