Copyright and licenses
Welcome to this module on copyright and licenses.
Copyright law is a complex field so we will focus on the aspects that are most relevant for researchers who need to protect their own intellectual work and use work written by others, and most importantly must avoid accidentally infringing copyright. Please bear in mind that the information in this module is intended for information only and does not constitute legal advice.
What is copyright and why does it matter?
Here are some key points:
Using someone else's work.
To begin with, we'll look at what you can and can't do with work authored by other people. You know that you need to cite them, but is that enough? Can you copy an extended quotation? Can you show a graph in your webinar? Watch this video to find out
Third party copyright resources on the Office of Scholarly Communication website
'How to' tips for reusing images from the Engineering Library
Who owns your work?
What about work that you created: surely you can do whatever you like with it, right..? It's not so simple. In this video you'll learn more about copyright transfer agreements and what they mean for you as an author.
Univeristy of Cambridge Intellectual Property advice
Discussion of the process of negotiating a copyright transfer agreement
Example of an Author’s addendum (USA)
Creative Common licenses
A Creative Common (CC) license allows authors to retain copyright but offer everyone permission to reuse their work under specified conditions. This video explains how they work.
Test your knowledge of CC licenses by considering the scenarios in the tabs below. Which license would you select in each case? Remember that you can select individual elements of the license or combine multiple ones. You'll find the answers at the bottom of this page.
I want credit for my photo
I don’t want anyone to change it
I don’t want anyone to make money from it
I want credit for my infographic
People are free to build on it and change it
I don’t want people to make money from it
They must share their work under the same terms
I want people to use this resource freely
I don't want money or credit
People are free to build on my presentation and change it, as long as they credit me
They can charge people to hear them deliver it
Having considered the scenarios above, did you select the correct Creative Common License to suit the author's purpose?
Scenario 1: CC-BY-NC-ND (attribution, non-commercial, no-derivatives)
Scenario 2: CC-BY-NC-SA (attribution, non-commercial, share alike)
Scenario 3: CC-0 ('CC zero', the work is in the public domain)
Scenario 4: CC-BY (attribution only)