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Copyright: Copyright for lecturers

Copyright procedures & guidelines at University of Pretoria, Department of Library Services.

Copyright for lecturers

For the purposes of education, there is no general legal right to use a copyright work without restrictions. However, there are a number of exceptions in the law which allow instructors to use a limited amount of material under specific circumstances.

Along with the advice provided below, please consult your department Information Specialist to help you stay within the law when creating teaching materials.

Further guidance for staff can also be found in the copyright office, Merensky library office 6-33 or email

Lecture slides

A little amount of copyrighted material may be used in lecturer slides and presentations however you must properly cite and reference the work used in order to give acknowledgement to the original source and your use must be fair to the copyright owner.

There is an exception in the copyright law that allows the use of images in the lecturer slides, but in general you should only use images that are your own, have been made available under a license that allows for reuse, or are out of copyright.

If you use content you have found on the internet, you should provide links rather than embedding material in your slides.

Music, films, video and television programmes

An exception to copyright law allows you to play music and show films, videos and television broadcasts during your lectures in a classroom. However, you cannot upload or embed music and videos on ClickUP modules unless you have permission from the copyright owner.

If you have secured permission to use or adapt images for your teaching, you should only store these images on a restricted-access website.

Scanning course readings

If you would like to provide your students with digitized copies of extracts from books and journals you should contact your information specialist for assistance.

You should not upload material that you have scanned yourself unless you have permission from the copyright owner or are sure that it is no longer in copyright or has been issued under a license that allows for reuse.


Acknowledgement is given to the University of Leeds