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Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

Your guide to understanding copyright law and intellectual property rights

Academic staff creating course packs and teaching materials should use the information collated here for guidance and contact the Learning and Teaching Development Service with any copyright-related queries.

Teaching and Copyright

ReCap is Newcastle University's event capture system which allows you to record the audio and visuals (e.g. PowerPoint slides) from lectures / presentations and make them available online (e.g. through Canvas / website) for your students and other staff.

Newcastle University owns the copyright to all the teaching materials you produce in the course of your employment here and these can be recorded unless you opt out. The full policy details explain what is automatically scheduled and how to opt out if preferred. You can check and cancel bookings online.

If you use copyrighted materials belonging to third parties in your lectures / presentations (e.g. images, cartoons, diagrams, graphs, films) then these cannot be included in your recordings unless:

  • You have explicit permission from the copyright holder(s) in writing
  • You have used openly licensed content (e.g. materials available under a Creative Commons licence which allows reuse and redistribution)

You can use out-of-copyright materials but the onus is on you to ensure their out-of-copyright status. Beware of photographs of out-of-copyright materials or new editions - these later works may be copyrighted.

Contact the ReCap helpline for advice if unsure.

ReCap logo

If you are developing e-learning materials, whether for Canvas or other Open Education Resource (OER), and you are intending to use third party materials then you must consider the legal implications of this, for yourself and Newcastle University.

Please note: if you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on Newcastle University's website (or legitimately under our name elsewhere) for which you have not given permission (and which is not covered by a relevant exemption) see our Notice and Takedown Procedure.

Any member of University staff who receives a takedown request or message regarding copyright infringement should forward all details to immediately.

Where publishers offer downloadable slides to embed into PowerPoint, it is possible to use these slides in your teaching if you check the permissions of that publisher first. 

You can use the CLA check permissions tool to search for specific title, ISBN or ISSN and it will show the permissions available to Higher Education institutions with a CLA licence. 

If you need to amend or annotate the slides (e.g. make the font larger or add your own annotations to diagrams) you are covered by the most recent ‘fair dealing’ exception to copyright which permits:

"A general “fair dealing” exception, allowing copying of works in any medium as long as the following conditions apply:
1. the work must be used solely to illustrate a point;
2. the use of the work must not be for commercial purposes;
3. the use must be fair dealing; and
4. it must be accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.”

You need to acknowledge the source in full on your slide, using the citation requirements of the specific publisher.