CEBTS - Consortium of European Baptist Theological Schools


Copyright issues - Online Resources

Collected by:
Dr. Penelope Hall

The following are helpful websites for checking on copyright laws:

Basic Guidelines to keep within copyright law

  • Always keep a record of everything you copy for your readers.
  • Always keep a detailed record of anything that you copy to send to another library on request and make sure that the receiving library also keeps a detailed record.
  • Never sell anything that you have copied. Only actual costs for reproduction and for post can be legally collected.
  • Never copy more than 30% of any given work, i.e. book, monograph, etc.
  • Always make sure that the frontispiece is included with the copied document with the copyright information for the document.
  • Always make sure that your readers understand that proper acknowledgement needs to be included should they wish to cite the work in their own written essays, theses, dissertations, etc.
  • Anything that has been out of print for more than 75 years moves into the public domain provided the copyright has not been renewed, but recognition of its provenance needs to be noted nonetheless.
  • Strictly speaking, copies of copyrighted materials should never be shared.

Guidelines for copying articles from periodicals

  • You may always copy one article from a periodical for personal study. Similarly a lecturer may make several copies of one article for a class, provided he collects the copies again after they have been used in the class.
  • The details of the author of the article need to be recorded along with the details of the periodical and the copyright information that is pertinent.

Guidelines for copying music

  • Do not copy music without either permission or a copyright licence copying contract which is renewable annually. The copyright copying licence number must always be evident on the copy. The copyright laws that pertain to music are much more stringent than those that apply to books and periodicals in print.
  • A performer cannot use copied music in an event for which an entrance fee has been charged.
  • One piece of music may be copied for personal study but it must be destroyed when the study is finished.
  • Lyrics for songs may only be copied with permission or with a copyright licence copying contract. The copyright copying licence number must always be evident on the copy.

Conference for theological librarians 2007


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