The Library provides self-service photocopiers for the convenience of its users (see the Library's Photocopying services page). Items which are out of copyright can be photocopied by users without restriction (see Summary of the duration of copyright). However, photocopying of "in copyright" items will usually have to be done under either fair dealing for private study or research, or SOAS's licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency. This section explains what these types of permission are, and the differences between them.
Separate rules apply to items in the custody of the Special Collections department, for which self-service photocopying is not allowed (see Special Collections material).
Brief guidance on what Library users can photocopy is also available on posters which are located next to the self-service photocopiers.
"Fair dealing" for private study or research is one of the exceptions in the UK's Copyright, Designs and Patents Act which allow copying of copyright protected material without the permission of the copyright owner. The concept is not defined in the legislation, but the underlying idea is that the copying should benefit the individual or society without harming the interests of the copyright owner.
SOAS students and staff and external users of the Library may photocopy extracts from literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works under this exception (for definitions of these terms, see What is copyright - and why it matters). For “fair dealing” to apply, all of the following conditions must be met:
SOAS has a licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) which allows SOAS students and staff (including Emeritus and Honorary staff, but not external users of the Library) to make photocopies of extracts of copyright-protected printed books, journals and magazines, in line with the limits and conditions set out below.
Photocopying is limited to (whichever is the greater):
These limits apply per work per course. E.g. a student can copy one chapter from a book for one course, and the same chapter or a different chapter for another course where the book is also on the reading list.
Photocopying is allowed where material has been published:
The CLA licence does not allow users to copy:
Other licence conditions:
There is a substantial overlap between photocopying under "fair dealing" for private study or research and photocopying under the CLA licence. Works which can be photocopied under the CLA licence can normally also be copied under "fair dealing" (but not vice versa), and the CLA licence grants rights that go beyond "fair dealing". This section summarises the differences between the two authorisations for photocopying, in order to help users decide which one to rely on.
Neither "fair dealing" for private study or research nor the CLA photocopying licence authorises the reproduction of copyright protected material in other works, such as publications, coursework or dissertations. If you want to incorporate extracts from items held in the Library in other works, you need to ensure that your photocopying is covered by one of the copyright provisions that allow the Reproduction of Library materials.
Last updated: October 2019