Copyright Exceptions

A copyright exception is a provision in law which allows you to use the copyright work without payment or permission


The starting point

There are a small number of things you can legally do with someone else’s work, without needing the permission of the copyright owner. These are called exceptions to copyright. Where these exceptions do not apply you will need to seek permission.

In the UK the exceptions to copyright are set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.  However these exceptions only apply to specific uses and generally only allow use of short extracts from a copyright work, so you need to be sure you are using them correctly to stay within the law.

What do the Exceptions allow me to do?

Some examples of what the exceptions allow you to do are contained within the video at the top of this page.

You can find out more information on the exceptions to copyright and how you can use them by visiting the Intellectual Property Office website.

Educational Recordings

If you are part of an educational institution such a school, college, university or other educational establishment, it is worth noting that you can record and access recordings of broadcast material for educational purposes, so long as the establishment has taken out a licence with the Educational Recording Agency (“ERA”). You can easily find out if such licence is in place by clicking here