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Copyright is automatic and places an "all rights are reserved" setting on writing, illustrations, music, recordings, photographs, Style Sheets -- almost anything in a 'fixed' form. There doesn't have to be a copyright symbol © in order for something to be "all rights reserved" copyright. 

Assume a piece of music, a text, a photograph etc., is fully copyright protected unless stated otherwise, for example by a permissive Creative Commons license

Copyright law uses a property metaphor and there can be 'ownership of a copyright’, like ownership of a house, and it gives the owner an exclusive right to:

Copyright allows the copyright owner to earn an income by selling or leasing their works. Learn how you can earn an income from your copyright at CopyrightUser website.

Copyright Awareness at the University


Digital Copyright

Student Rights

Undergraduate students and students on taught masters own their IP including their copyright as outlined in the Student Contract in the Main Terms and Conditions.

Students copying materials when completing assignments or for the purposes of research, don't require permission to copy.Fair Dealing for the purposes of personal, non-commercial research provides an exception to copyright.

If materials are being distributed (shared online), however, fair dealing might not apply.

For example, all the articles, reports, images, films, radio programmes etc. in our Online Library are property of their publishers unless otherwise stated in their copyright licensing Terms and Conditions.

Understand how to publish legal images, texts, and sounds before allowing anyone other than your lecturers and fellow students to see your portfolios or social media.

Researcher Rights


The University of Brighton's IP office publishes policies for Researchers. Research students often waive their IP except for the copyright in their thesis. 

Scholarly journals expect contributors to obtain relevant permissions when using copyrighted material for publication. Understand how to include copyrighted images, texts, and media in a thesis before publishing.

There are exceptions to copyright law which permit some copying and sharing of works when undertaking research. When invoking an exception to copyright it is important to use the work as a 'fair and honest minded' person would use the work. This concept is understood as 'fair dealing ' in UK copyright law.

The Intellectual Property Office publish a guide to exceptions for research purposes which explains when the exceptions can apply to your use of a copyright work.

Lecturer Rights

Staff at the University of Brighton retain the copyright in books, articles and lectures produced under employment at the University. However, the University asserts copyright in several other works, such as patents, produced while in employment. See our Intellectual Property Office Policy on IP Generated by Employees.

Copying materials for teaching

If you are copying texts for students on a course, then your copying is covered by our CLA licence. The licence isn't a carte blanche for copying and it's important to observe the guidelines as set out in our Teaching FAQs.

The IPO issues guidance on exceptions to copyright in teaching.

Rights for Persons with Disabilities

The legislation regarding copying for persons with disabilities can be found on the UK Government website.

It is now legal for the University of Brighton to make copies of materials in any format and to adjust them so they are suitable for students or staff with differing physical and cognitive abilities. Previously we could only alter materials for students or staff with visual impairments. Now this is expanded to include any type of disability. Contract terms will not override the exception. However this exception will only apply where an accessible copy is not available commercially at a reasonable cost.

For example, you can now subtitle a film, however if there is an accessible version available to purchase you must do this. If you wish to prepare copies for staff or students with disability, please contact for further advice.

Author Rights

"When you decide to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal, you own the full copyrights to that article. If you publish in an open access journal, you retain your full copyrights. However, if you choose to publish in a traditional subscription access journal, you will be required to sign a form transferring some – or all – of your copyrights to that publisher."

Practical guidance including addendums for contracts is available on the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) website

NEW Request a Copyright Workshop



Would your department, team, or student group like a talk or workshop about copyright? Information Services works with groups of all sizes and disciplines to remix our core copyright workshops and activities for their needs. Take a look at our Workshops for our regular teaching: Digital Media and Copyright; Copyright and Education; Basics of Copyright.


Need specialist IP advice? Our associate expert Ian Goodyer runs insight-packed workshops called ‘Protecting You And Your Ideas’ which you can attend for free along with other workshops at the University's Enterprise Support Service.

Page owner: Lisa Redlinski