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Copyright: your legal copying entitlements

It is possible to make single or multiple copies of the whole or part of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in a format which is accessible to a student with visual impairment under the following conditions:

  • The visually impaired person must have lawful possession or use of an original copyright work, i.e. to own, have borrowed from the library or have access to a reference copy.
  • The copy may be made by the visually impaired person or by someone else on his/her behalf.
  • If any charge is made, it must not exceed the cost of making and supplying the copy.
  • Any copy created must bear an acknowledgement, i.e. details of the author, title, edition etc. and the following statement:
  • If the University makes an accessible copy for a visually impaired student or member of staff, it is possible for the copy to be returned to the University and stored for later use by another visually impaired person, provided that the conditions as to lawful possession or use set out above continue to be met.

Until 2018, the UK copyright law also contained 'commercial availability' restrictions, which established that an accessible copy could only lawfully be created when one was not already available for purchase. However, after the amendments to the UK copyright law to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in 2018, commercial availability provisions were removed from the disability exceptions. You can read more about this on the relevant page of the Copyright User website.

For further details, please consult the Accessible Copies page of our online Copyright Toolkit. If you need help then please get in touch with our Student Wellbeing and Welfare team. There is much more information on their website.

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