Skip to main content

Copyright Guide for Faculty

Fair Dealing

Why is it important?

At GSM London we have licences which cover some of the copies we need to make from books, journals and newspapers. For more information on each of these, see the information about copying from books, journals and newspapers in the "What are you copying?" section of this guide.   In other cases the owner or publisher of the work will state that they allow free copying of their work. Often this is done by stating that the work is covered by a Creative Commons Licence. For more information about this please see the Guide to Getting the most from Free Resources.

Also a small amount of copying is allowed from virtually any source if the copying meets one of the  “Fair Dealing” exemptions under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 (as amended).  The Fair Dealing exemptions most likely to apply at GSM are described briefly below.

Key things to remember if you are copying on a "Fair Dealing" basis:

  • Fair dealing copying must not substitute for purchase of the work
  • The original source must be acknowledged
  • The amount copied must be reasonable (see below)

Fair Dealing copying is possible when:

1. Copying of a small amount for research and private study.

You can only make one copy for your private study or research. It can be a scan or a photocopy. You cannot share it with others by email or post it online.

2. Illustration for instruction

You can copy material if it is necessary to illustrate or reinforce your teaching; This exception does NOT apply to illustrations to make your presentation more appealing. Slides with 'illustrations for instruction' can be shared on the relevant GSM Learn page but not on a public website or on social media. High resolution versions of pictures or images should not be used without permission of the copyright owner or a suitable payment for reuse. Images copied on a fair dealing basis for illustration of teaching should be low quality versions.

Inclusion of short extracts or quotations in exam papers or coursework questions is allowed under the 'illustration for instruction' exception.

Click for more information about exams and coursework

3. Copying for the purposes of ‘criticism and review’

4, Quotation of a small amount

Fair Dealing: How much is ‘fair’ ?

There is no water-tight definition of how much copying is allowed under fair dealing but the following is a general guide. However these guideline amounts do not override the need to make sure your copying is fair and reasonable and your copying must not be a substitute for buying a copy of the work.

Guideline amounts for fair dealing photocopying

  • one chapter of a book for private study. The chapter must account for less than 5% of the total book.
  • one article from a journal for private study. That article must be 5% of the issue of the journal, otherwise you should restrict your copying to 5%.
  • For setting exam questions or use in lecture slides: one extract of up to 400 words in an exam question or workshop slides or several extracts, each no longer than 300 words. The total word count for the extracts should amount to less than 800 words.
If in doubt email copyright@gsmlondon.ac.uk