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Help LibGuides

Copyright: For Students

This page is under development

Copying for private study

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.

It is your responsibility to avoid infringing copyright when using University of Hull equipment for printing, photocopying or scanning.
For further information, see the University regulations for Library and ICT use.


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.

How much is 'fair'?

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 have a disability

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.

Assessments (including dissertations)

Under development


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!

  • Quotations
  • Images
  • Captions
  • Portfolios