There are a number of ‘exceptions’ that can apply in schools. 


The purpose of 'exceptions' is to provide access to information for study, non-commercial research and reporting.

 There are over 70 exceptions listed in the CDPA.

 There isn't a general 'exception' for education. What the student or teacher can and can't do is contained within the description of the particular 'exception'.

 'Sufficient acknowledgement' is required by most of the exceptions: typically - title, author/artist and source.

 In addition to 'fair dealing' these are the 'exceptions' most likely to be encountered in schools. The frist three apply to education - schools, colleges and universities - in particular; the others apply more generally and could include some school activity.

  • Copying
  • Examination materials
  • Teaching film
  • Reporting current events
  • Criticism and Review
  • Playing of recorded music
  • Time shifting - 'record now view later'
  • and a note on Libraries


The exception for copying

 It is permissable to make a copy for teaching - writing on a whiteboard, or in a book, or a flash card, or copying a painting, provided that a photocopier or 'any appliance which makes multiple copies' is not used. It's meant to cover one-off analogue media situations ansd aplies to teachers and pupils or those assisting in teaching such as CSAs. This exception applies to literary (written), dramatic (theatrical performance), musical or artistic work (paintings, drawings, photographs, etc) and applies to preparation ofr teaching and learning as well as the classroom activity.


The exception for examinations.

 It is permissible to copy materials for use in examinations. The UK IP Office says 'Anything done for setting or answering examination questions'. It is required that 'sufficient acknowledgement' must is provided. BUT this exception doesn't cover for instance photocopying or 'any appliance which makes multiple copies' . And there are exceptions to the exception, in particular the copying of sheet music or musical scores is not permitted without full permissions from the Music Publisher’s Association (MPA).

Examination Boards take a great deal of care to avoid copyright problems in the material they create or expect to be used.


The exception for teaching film.

If you are teaching students how to make films or soundtracks then it is permissible within the copyright exception (i.e. things done for purposes of instruction or examination) - to use clips from film sources for ‘instruction and examination’ though it doesn’t prefer further rights to ‘deal’ with the materials for commercial use or, probably, to re-use the materials, distribute or publish them in public. It is for a restricted audience - the teacher and learners. It requires ‘sufficient acknowledgement’ and good practice would encourage the acknowledgement of the creator, distributor, date and the source.


The exception for reporting current affairs.

It is permissible to use copyright materials for reporting current affairs – and that could be an education activity to report on a local or world event. However, the use of copyright materials is only permitted for that purpose so if published, on for instance a website, the report should be taken down once the item has become ‘old news’. Acknowledgement of sources used, including any copyright materials used, is required unless this is practically impossible. However, this exception does not apply to photographs. This exception was written for journalists.


The exception for review or criticism.

It is permissible to use copyright materials for reviews or criticism that are “fair” and provide acknowledgements. This exception applies to a piece of work that reviews or critiques another work such as a book or film and is not just a summary or reference to it. The material being reviewed has to have been published, sufficient acknowledgement has to be provided and the purpose must be “fair; for example, copying an entire work when a short extract would be sufficient is unlikely to be “fair.  However, this exception does not apply to photographs.


The exception for performing, playing or showing ...

 Performing, playing or showing copyright works in a school, university or other educational establishment for educational purposes. However, it only applies if the audience is limited to teachers, pupils and others directly connected with the activities of the establishment.  It will not generally apply if parents are in the audience. Examples of this are showing a video for English or drama lessons and the teaching of music. Most schools will also have an ERA licence which covers how recorded broadcasts can be used - the exception covers, for instance, videos, DVDs and performing drama.


The exception for playing recorded music

 Playing music or sound recordings in public in the UK requires a licence which are usually supplied by PRS, representing songwriters, composers and music publishers - and PPL, representing record companies and performers. The exception applies to not-for-profit organsiations and might include community groups, clubs or charities as well as schools. The exception still requires a PRS licence or permission from the owners but does not require a PPL licence. Many schools have subscribed to PRS and PPL licences through CEFM.

 The UK IP Office gives some examples on how to define 'not-for-profit' in this context in it's notes on The Exception for Not-for-Profit Playing Music


The exception for time shifting

 'Time shifting' means copying something such as a broadcast so you can listen to it at another time. The exception doesn't cover making up libraries of material for general school use. The time shifting exception is extended by the ERA licence which most schools have subscribed to. 



 There is a whole section in the CDPA dealing with how libraries relate to the CDPA, Exceptions and Fair Dealing including Libraries.


And the rest of the exceptions?

 Check out the full  list of Acts Permitted in Relation to Copyright works  in Chapter III, CDPA 1988.