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Copyright: Video, images and audio

TV and radio broadcasts

The University has licence agreements with the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) and the library has a subscription to the Box of Broadcasts service delivered by Learning on Screen. This enables staff and students to record programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels; and search the archive of over 2.2 million broadcasts. There is also functionality to create clips and bookmarks, and create playlists. You can embed programmes and clips from BoB into VLEs (such as Blackboard). Recordings cannot be located from within the Library catalogue, you will need to search within Box of Broadcasts itself for recordings. BoB recordings can be watched on and off campus. 

Recordings of TV and radio broadcasts, whether they are accessed online or from a DVD copy, are for the educational use of SHU staff and students only. Use is restricted to within the UK.

CDs and DVDs

The playing of commercially produced DVDs and CDs is permitted within an educational establishment provided that the audience only includes University staff and students, and the programme is used for instructional purposes. For any other use, e.g. recreational or before an audience that includes non University staff/students, a licence must be obtained.  See Filmbank for more information.

Copying commercially produced CDs and DVDs is not permissible unless it is under one of the copyright exceptions (link goes here). If technical protection measures are in place that prevent the copying permitted under legislation, it is not legal to circumvent them.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons Licences enable people who create content to attach licences to their work; the licences make it explicit how the work can be reused whilst the creator retains the copyright.  There are 6 licences.  BY is the most liberal, permitting re-use and adaptation provided that the work is acknowledged.  BY ND NC is at the other extreme, allowing re-use provided that it is is for non-commercial purposes, not adapted in any way, and acknowledged. Each licence is represented by a graphical symbol, making is easy to see what is permissible.

The Creative Commons website gives information about the 6 licences and how to apply them to your work, as well as quick access to search tools for images, music and video resources with a Creative Commons Licence.

Video and audio on the web

It is only legal to download and reuse video or audio found on the web if it falls under a copyright exception, is out of copyright, or the copyright owner gives their permission - this may be in the form of a Creative Commons Licence.  Be aware that content may have been uploaded to an website without the copyright owner's permission; this is 'infringing content' and should not be re-used.  For example, it is a good idea to check that video on YouTube has been uploaded by the copyright owner.


Photo credit: 'Otter at Rest' by Peter Trimming via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Copying images is not permissable unless it is covered by one of the copyright exceptions and complies with fair dealing under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

If use is not covered under a copyright exception, e.g. you want to find an image to make a presentation look more attractive, search for copyright-free images or images released under a Creative Commons Licence, such as the one above.

An image may be re-used if it is out of copyright or if the copyright owner has given permission.

Media literacy

Further information


These pages are intended to provide guidance to members of Sheffield Hallam University on matters of copyright and the copying of materials for learning, teaching and research at the University.  Whilst we have endeavoured to ensure the accuracy of these guidelines, they should not be construed as definitive legal opinion on such matters and should not be taken as legal advice.

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