The following is not legal advice or a complete guide to copyright, but gives an introduction to copyright and general guidance on what you can and cannot do, particularly with Online Library materials.  We hope you find this guidance helpful, but please contact us if you have any queries.

Online Library resources

Access to databases, e-journals, e-books and other digital resources provided via the Online Library is subject to both

  • copyright
  • the terms of publishers’ licences

Access is restricted to registered students and staff of the University of London.

What is Copyright?

Copyright provides an author or creator of an original work with legal protection against others copying and exploiting their work.  Copyright in a work comes into existence as soon as a work is created.

Copyright exists in books, e-books, journals, images, photos, databases, music, films, videos, websites and other creative works.   

Copyright is a global issue.  Most countries have their own copyright laws.  Many countries belong to major international copyright conventions and treaties.  Under these agreements a member country protects the works created in other member countries as if these works had been created within its own borders.

Works protected by copyright can only be copied if you have the permission of the copyright owner or if the copying is permitted under copyright law or under specialist copyright licences.

Guidance for students

Guidance for Faculty