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Fair dealing and exceptions

Fair dealing

You may copy for educational purposes using the 'fair dealing exceptions', the limits for fair dealing are generally accepted as the following:.   

  • one complete chapter from a book or 5% of the total, whichever is greater.
  • one complete article from a journal issue or set of conference proceedings.
  • the entire report of a single case from a set of law reports.
  • one short story or poem (up to a maximum of 10 pages) from an anthology.
  • a short excerpt from a musical work, provided it is not for performance purposes.
  • a short excerpt of text or film or an image can be used so long as it is to explain or elaborate upon a point being made by a teacher for instruction

A copy is not "fair" unless the answer to all three of the questions below is "yes".    

  • Does the copy preserve the legitimate commercial interest of the copyright owner? (e.g. the user should not copy an item in an effort to avoid buying it)
  • Is the copy being made for the person doing the copying?
  • Is the copy for one of the following purposes:
    • Research of a non-commercial nature 
    • Private study 
    • Criticism or review 
    • Reporting current events 
    • For use in examination 
    • Illustration (text or image or film) for Instruction 

It is essential to give full acknowledgement of the source of any material copied in this way wherever possible. 

Copyright exceptions for users with disabilities

UK legislation provide specific exemptions allowing for copies to be made in an accessible format for the use of disabled person, without infringing copyright.  :

This permits educational establishments, such as Cardiff Met, to make available, distribute and lend accessible format-copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. The exception permits acts such as: 

  • making braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually-impaired people 
  • adding audio-description to films or broadcasts for visually-impaired people 
  • making sub-titled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people 
  • making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people 

Further guidance can be found on the Intellectual Property Office website:  

Exceptions to copyright: Helping disabled people