Fair Dealing, Licenses, and Usage Moodle Book

Copyright Infringement

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What happens if I infringe the copyright of copyright holder you may ask? In a nutshell, you can be sued. The owner of the copyright is entitled to make sure that their works are not being infringed upon and are entitled to remedies under the law. These remedies are:

  •  Damages – Money 

If found to be infringing, there may be required to pay money to the owner of the work.

  •  An injunction to stop the infringement

An injunction will require the person in question to stop the infringing behaviour.

  •  The delivery of the infringing material or seizure of the infringing material

Any infringing material will be required to be surrendered or will be seized from the infringing party's possession.

You may also face criminal liability as well as civil liability if you:

  •  Make the infringing material available for sale or hire

This is similar to the fake DVDs that were prevalent in the early 2000's.

  •  Import infringing material for reasons other than private or domestic use
  • Have a business that does any of the above

When going about your work, research, duties or, conducting your studies you will no doubt encounter and interact with copyright protected works and materials. It is important that you utilise or interact with these materials in a lawful way. In order to do this, there are several stages of thought processes you can go through to ensure you are compliant with UK copyright law and the University copyright framework.

1. Did you create the work yourself?

If you didn’t, the fact is that you need some type of permission before using it. If it is a piece you wrote that is unpublished and providing it is cited correctly. Remember that while you may not be violating your own copyright, you could possibly be self-plagiarising according to the university’s guidelines.

If you did then just go ahead and use it.

2. If you are not the author or owner, you need to check if you need a license to use it. Providing ‘credit’ for photographs, images etc is sometimes not enough depending on the license.

3. If your usage is in an educational non-commercial situation for illustrative purposes then you usually are okay to use the work unless it is explicitly denied by the copyright owner.