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Copyright for Creating Commercial Courses

Guidance for staff involved in designing and building courses with a commercial purpose, such as corporate education and training.

Statutory exceptions

The relevant legislation dealing with copyright in a UK context is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 Copyright symbol white on red background
(CDPA). Many of the statutory exceptions contained within that Act that we could usually call upon for educational purposes have a 'non-commercial' clause, which means that they can't be relied upon when including third party copyright material in courses of a commercial nature. This, however, is not true of Section 30 of the CDPA, which deals with criticism, review and quotation. 

This exception will allow you to use an extract of a copyright work for the purposes of criticism and review or quotation. It relies upon the concept of "fair dealing", which means that you must:

  • provide sufficient acknowledgement for the published work you are commenting on or quoting, including its creator;
  • only use as much of it as is necessary for your specific purpose; and
  • make sure your use doesn't undermine the copyright owner's ability to exploit the work; always consider the financial impact of your actions. If what you intend to do will significantly damage the copyright holder's sales, then it is unlikely to be considered fair.

(Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay).

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