Skip to main content

Copyright: Copyright for Lecturers

Why should lecturers know about copyright?

While under the educational exemption of fair dealing, due to being used for educational purposes, lecturers should understand that there are limits to what they can use in class under the terms of the ICLA agreement. As is the case with students all copyright works used should have a suitable attribution. 

What can you copy

It is now possible to copy up to 10% of a website page content under the license however this is dependent on the website's policy in relation to this around copying content.   

10% or one chapter from a book. Full works, for example, the full text of a book can not be taken and photocopied, this applies only to one work on one course of study. 

In the case of short stories and poems, the whole work can be copied as long as it is below 10 pages. 

However, it must be noted that this only applies to material that the institute owns, either through owning a copy of the item or a subscription to a database that holds the item or that the lecturer themselves own. 

In the case of a journal article or periodical online or offline you may copy the full text of one article but only one article from that particular issue of the journal or periodical. 

You can copy illustrations that are in an article or work you have copied using the license before without providing the text.  Though it should be only 10% of the images in the work. 

Copyright basics for lecturers

This video focuses mainly on the United States context but does provide a basic idea of copyright and its relation to teaching.

What you can put onto Moodle

Sheet music, industrial journals, flashcards, classroom assessments and gray literature do not fall under the ICLA license and therefore should be linked to rather than placed in full on Moodle unless you obtain permission from the copyright holder. In general be careful in using these types of resources. 

If you wish to upload a video of a lecture or PowerPoint slides of a lecture make sure any material that is in either of these resources comply with copyright as issues may arise if this is not the case.


Any material you hold the copyright for and is your own work can be freely put up on Moodle. Any other material may be subject to copyright which may not fall under the ICLA license. 

Printed works can be copied as long as they fall within these conditions:

  • no substantial part of the work can be copied and put on Moodle
  • the library owns a copy of the work
  • the work can only be accessed in Moodle by students through password authentication
  • This applies only to countries whose publications are covered by th ICLA license,  To see a list of countries and excluded works click  here. Any countries not on this list or creators who have decided to exclude their work from the license will require permission from the copyright holder to upload. An attribution to the author must be included.   However with items not covered by the license it may be better and safer  to give the students a link to the work in question through Moodle or email. 

Websites videos etc. are not covered by the license and if you wish to use them on your Moodle please provide links to them. Also especially for videos check to see if the video uploaded is by the original owner as a lot of YouTube videos infringe copyright of the uploader of the video is not the original owner do not link to it as you may infringe copyright. However if the video is published under creative commons or a creative commons license you may put up the video fully on your Moodle page within the conditions met. 

Images cannot be put up onto Moodle unless you have the copyright or the permission of the copyright holder to reupload so they are best avoided or a link be provided to the image instead in order to avoid any issues around copyright alternatively you can find copyright free images that can be used without worry. The video below shows what tools you can use to do this. 

What changed in the 2019 act

The 2019 act has updated the provisions of the educational exceptions to include: 

That both copying and communicating the copy falls under the exceptions for education produced by the act.

The replacement of reproduction rather than reprographing of documents including digital forms of copying. 

Provisions for distance learning that allows the institution to communicate works of importance to distance students. Those students are allowed to make copies of those works. 

That as long as a sufficient acknowledgement is given copies can be made of works available through the internet.  

Copyright checklist for uploading content to Moodle

Copyright checklist for uploading works to Moodle

  1. Can the work just be linked to instead of being uploaded for example a link to the ebook or article in question? In general online sources, especially if they are in the library collection, should be linked to rather than uploaded to avoid any copyright problems. 
  2. What type of document is it? Under the ICLA license, there are works that are not allowed to be copied these include music sheets and government reports. Please go to the ICLA excluded works document to find out which items are excluded.
  3. How much of the work are you uploading? It is up to 10% or a chapter whatever is shorter when the license is applied to copies the institute owns or for personal copies up to 5% or a chapter.
  4. Keep a record as the Irish Copyright Agency will expect an assessment as to the quantity of material used and this will impact on royalties paid to copyright owners and on the license agreement and fee the Institute pays. 
  5. Remember to remove any items made available for this purpose once no longer needed. 
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.