Creating teaching materials raises many legal issues, including staff and student rights, third party rights, access, and publication. All of these issues are important whether you are creating content for a lecture, putting content in the VLE, publishing open educational resources (OERs) or creating content for YouTube or iTunes U.
All content you produce as part of your employment at the University normally belongs to the University of Leeds. This includes teaching materials, audio and video recordings.
All digital content belongs to someone: If you use it and do not own it you may be in breach of copyright law. Both yourself and the University could be liable for copyright infringement.
Someone created the content and holds the copyright in it. If this is not clear, you need to find out who the copyright holder is. For support in finding the copyright holder see our guidance and advice on locating copyright holders:
You may have reached an agreement as part of a funding arrangement or with a publisher or former employer that they own the copyright.
You'll need to check you can still publish the material. In some circumstances, such as unpublished pre-prints, you might still retain permission to use the material.
Some material may be out in the public domain as copyright has expired or the copyright owner has given up their rights. Copyright owners are also able to license their material for reuse either as open access, or under different licence terms.
Note that if you are using licenced content you may be required to republish under certain licence terms as a condition of using the content. E.g. content shared under a Creative Commons sharealike licence).
You are able to reproduce limited amounts of material without permission and without infringing the rights of the copyright owners. This use is only permitted for specific purposes and it is your responsibility to ensure the use is fair to the rights owners.
If you need to reproduce material for the purposes of critique or review, you may be able to reproduce limited amounts without seeking permission.
You should be able to use as much as you need to make your point, and you must attribute the authors, but you may not be able to use 'substantial' parts of the work.
If you use content created by others you must correctly attribute (reference) the author and copyright holder. Attribution should include the name of the author, name of the copyright holder (sometimes the same as the author but not always), the date, title and terms of reuse (e.g. Creative Commons licence).
Copyright holders normally make correct attribution a condition of reuse of their content.
The legislation allows for use of limited amounts of copyright work for the following purposes:
For more information see our Guide on fair dealing.
There are different ways of getting permission. You may use content that is permitted because it's out of copyright; permitted by licence; with express permission of the copyright owner; or in return for payment.
Where you have permission to use content created by others you still have to attribute the work to them correctly.