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Permitted uses of copyright works

There are a number of exceptions to copyright that allow limited use of copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner. These can be found in the copyright sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) PDF document(1.53Mb), and include exceptions for the following purposes:

(Please note that this list is not exhaustive and particular care should be taken if you intend to rely on an exception).

Also, it is not an infringement of the copyright in a work if you draw, take a photograph or make a film of, buildings or sculptures or works of artistic craftsmanship which are located in a public places or in premises open to the public and copyright is not infringed in any material when it is used in legal proceedings.

Certain exceptions require you to give sufficient acknowledgment when making use of a copyright protected work.

Sometimes more than one exception may apply to the use you are thinking of.

However, if you are copying large amounts of material and/or making multiple copies then you may still need permission.

It is important to remember that just owning a copy of a copyright work does not give you permission to use it in a way that would infringe copyright.

If your use of a copyright work does not involve using a substantial part, then you will not be infringing copyright. But it is important to remember that even very small parts of a copyright work may count as a substantial part.

Fast Facts

  • Chapter III sections 28-76 of the Act list permitted uses.