UK copyright law permits anyone to copy/save material from a book, journal, website, audio/video recording or social media platform for their own private study, providing you are accessing the original legally, and your use is "fair dealing" (see below).
Printing, photocopying or scanning, ripping or downloading, screen capture, photography or filming, recording and transcribing are all treated in law as 'making a copy', therefore subject to copyright law.
Your lecturer does not have an automatic right to make copies for students. For information about what lecturers are allowed to copy, see the section of this guide For Teachers.
Your copy should not be a substitute for paying for the material, and shouldn't reach a wider audience than the original. Even if you have accessed the material free-of-charge, copyright still applies - the creator has chosen to share their work, but not necessarily to permit other people to save or re-use it.
|Probably fair||Probably not fair|
|Photocopying or scanning a few pages from a Library book||Copying a different chapter every week until you've got the whole book|
|Downloading an article from an e-journal to read offline||Emailing the pdf to a friend at another university|
|Clipping a photo from a news website to use in an assignment||Publishing the photo in a student newspaper|
If you're unable to use the material in its original format, and there's no accessible version available, you are entitled to copy the whole work into a different format which you can access more easily, or ask someone else to copy it for you.
In the UK, it's legal for students to reproduce a "fair" amount of copyright material in classroom activities or assessments, for the attention of classmates, tutors, and examiners. Don't forget to attribute your source!