Fair Dealing, Licenses, and Usage Moodle Book


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A license is an express permission that allows an individual to do or perform an activity. A driver’s license allows you to drive your car on the streets, a liquor license allows you to sell alcohol. Licenses for copyrighted material work in the same way. The university has several licenses that allows you to legally copy extracts of content and protected works under certain circumstances and restrictions. These are accessible from QMplus or the Library Database so you can freely use works from, for example, Hein Online and Westlaw which are legal databases, Box of Broadcasts which is a library of broadcasts that you can use and Canopy which is a streaming service. Use from then onward should be done according to fair dealing as described by the license. 

Licenses that the university has are

  • CLA License

The Copyright Licensing Agency is one of the main licenses you have access to and that you can use to check if you have permission to use a piece of copyright protected material. On the website, there is handy “check permissions” tool which allows you to search by title, author, or ISBN/ISSN number as to what you can do with the materials. There are also user guides and best practice guides that can help inform you on the best way to interact with these materials.

As a rule, it is recommended that for every book, journal etc. that you plan on using, you run it through the CLA check permissions tool so that you can see what your options are regarding the content.

  •  ERA License 

The ERA licensing scheme allows for educational establishments to use recordings that have already been broadcast within an educational setting. It is important to know that the ERA licence does not cover YouTube, but allows access and downloads from several On Demand streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer, All4, and ITV player. Supplying recordings in either hard copy form or by electronic means to distance learning students or other students  based outside the UK is not permitted under the ERA Licence.

  •  NLA License

The NLA deals specifically with newspapers and allows for the use of newspapers under their terms. Media covered under an NLA license includes UK newspapers and news websites.

Another type of license that you are subject to by the university is the End User License Agreement for programs (EULA), these allow you to use the computer programs that you do, in the way that you do too.

At some point in your work or studies, you may have come across the CC or Creative Commons license. Essentially, when a work has a CC license, it allows you, the user to use the work in certain ways. There are several types of CC license, these are:

  •   Attribution Only CC BY: This allows you to use, remix, change, distribute and build upon work even commercially as long as the original creator is credited.
  •  Attribution Share Alike CC BY SA: This allows you to remix, change, distribute and build upon work even commercially, providing you use the same CC BY SA license for your work and credit the original work.
  • Attribution No Derivative CC BY ND: No derivative works are allowed but, the work can be used even commercially as long as there is credit attributed to you.

There are non-commercial licenses variations for these types of licenses with all the terms exactly the same with the exception that the resulting work can only be used non-commercially. These are:

  • CC BY NC, 
  • CC BY NC SA and, 
  • CC BY NC ND respectively.

The Creative Commons licensing framework uses symbols to denote the type of license a work may have. As taken from the Creative Commons flickr stream, they are as follows:

Attribution iconAttribution means:
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give you credit.

Noncommercial icon Non-commercial means:
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work - and derivative works based upon it - but for noncommercial purposes only.

No Derivative Works icon No Derivative Works means:
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Share Alike icon Share Alike means:
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

CC0 iconPublic Domain Dedication (CC0) means:
You, the copyright holder, waive your interest in your work and place the work as completely as possible in the public domain so others may freely exploit and use the work without restriction under copyright or database law.

Public Domain Work iconPublic Domain Work means:
Works, or aspects of copyrighted works, which copyright law does not protect. Typically, works become part of the public domain because their term of protection under copyright law expired, the owner failed to follow certain required formalities, or the works are not eligible for copyright protection.

Works can also be “all rights granted” which allows copyright holders to waive all their rights and place the work in the public domain. It is the opposite of “all rights reserved”.

With regards to computer programs, Open Source Licenses are the equivalent to CC BY SA licenses. It is important to understand and recognise that a license cannot override the law, and so any terms and conditions in the license must comply with the laws of the land of which the copyright protected material exists.