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Scanning copyright materials for personal use can be treated in the same way as photocopying for private study or research (see fair dealing and photocopying).

However, sharing scanned materials with others, for instance mounting on a shared electronic network or intranet such as Blackboard Learn, requires written permission from the copyright owner, or must be covered by a licence.

The University holds a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Copyright Licence, which covers the use of scanned extracts from books and periodicals for educational purposes under certain conditions.

What can I scan under the CLA licence?

Nothing - the Library's Digital Readings Service (DRS) will do the scanning for you!  Only Designated Persons registered with the Copyright Licensing Agency may prepare and distribute scanned extracts for educational purposes, as it is important to make sure that scanned copies are prepared in line with copyright regulations and the terms of the Licence. Brunel's Designated Persons are Library staff. The DRS will make sure that scanned extracts comply fully with the terms and conditions of the CLA Licence, which are complex to administer. 

Visit the Digital Readings web page to find out more including how to make a request.

What can't be scanned under the CLA licence?

CLA's mandate covers certain categories of works, including books, periodicals and some websites. There are also excluded works where titles or publishers have opted out of including them. Only works from countries that have opted to allow scanning from their works or from global mandating publishers can be used.

Inspection or proof copies, and personally owned staff copies cannot be used for scanning. To check what can or can't be copied under the CLA Licence, visit CLA Check Permissions 

How much can be scanned under the CLA licence?

The following limits apply per module.

  • Books - up to one chapter or 10% of extracts
  • Journals - up to 1 article or 10% of extracts per issue
  • Law reports - 1 report of a single case per volume or 10% of extracts
  • Conference proceedings - up to 1 paper or 10% of extracts
  • Plays - a whole scene or up to 10% of the total publication
  • Anthologies of short stories or poems - up to 10% of extracts or 1 short story or poem of not more than 10 pages in length.

Where two chapters from a book amount to 10% or less of whole work, both chapters can be copied under the terms of the Licence. However, multiple editions cannot be used to copy more than 10% in total across any editions used.

The CLA website has more information on copying limits.

Recordkeeping and unauthorised scanning

Comprehensive records must be kept of all digital copies made under the CLA Licence, including details of all modules the material will be added to and the number of registered students on the module. The Copyright Officer and CLA Licence Co-ordinator is responsible for reporting these to the Copyright Licensing Agency.

If you happen to have any scanned readings from books and journals which have not been obtained or authorised by the Digital Readings Service, please let us know at We will do what we can to obtain fully compliant licensed copies.

Copyright Compliance Audits

The Copyright Licensing Agency may carry out Copyright Compliance Audits to verify that University staff are correctly administering and observing the terms of the CLA Licence.

They check that we own the originals of extracts we have scanned, that extents used are within copying limits and that the quality and integrity of the digital copy matches the original. The University will be required to produce the originals alongside the digital copies for comparison, and to provide access to Blackboard Learn and/or the intranet during the Audit.

A thirty day notice period must be given before an audit, and full compliance is necessary from all staff under the terms of our Licence.

Your responsibilities under the CLA licence

The terms and conditions of the licence are legally binding, and all staff and students are expected to adhere to these. Staff must ensure that materials supplied via Blackboard Learn comply with the terms of the Licence, or other applicable licence, permission, waiver or statutory exception to copyright.

Users found to be in breach of the Licence will be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures as detailed in the Library Code of Conduct and University regulations detailed in the Student Handbook. University staff are also subject to disciplinary procedures for non-adherence to any University policies. This is detailed in the appropriate Conditions of Service for staff and Brunel Computer Centre policies.

Copies made under the CLA Licence may be used for educational purposes only and may not be transferred to other users, except as provided for within the Licence terms or as permitted by statutory exceptions in UK law.

It is good practice to regularly review all copies made and to delete or destroy any which are no longer required.