Copyright law in the UK is governed by Part I of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA, the Act). It has been subject to various amendments over time including revisions recognising the digital age in 2003, and with a recognition of creative industry and education in 2014.
The UK legislation has been updated on a number of occasions to harmonise it with the provisions of international treaties and conventions to which the UK is a signatory.
Relevance of copyright UK FE and HE
Understanding copyright law and how it applies is of fundamental importance to FE and HE because as users, producers and disseminators of information they need to maximise their ability to exploit the value in their work as well as minimise the risk of infringement and the consequent liability towards others.
For example, the internet facilitates the open dissemination of information in an unprecedented manner. Those working in the FE and HE sectors need to be aware that their work will often contain copyright-protected content from others. Just because materials (such as internet content, software, databases and journals) are openly available does not necessarily mean that they may be freely used.