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Academic Integrity: COPYRIGHT


Copyright is the legal term, which describes the rights given to authors/creators of certain categories of work. Copyright protection extends to the following works:

original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (traditionally called the “classical” copyrights);
film, sound recordings, broadcasts and the typographical arrangement of published editions (often called “related rights”, because they involve the exploitation of “classical” works);
computer software and non-original databases (despite their modest credentials as “creative” works) and

From a content user’s perspective, copyright is a set of guidelines that enable us to access and share published material in a way that is fair and acceptable.

Copyright Association of Ireland


COPYRIGHT Generally lasts the lifetime of the author plus 70 years


MIC has a higher education licence which permits lecturers and academics to photocopy or download material for teaching purposes. 

This licence covers the copying and distribution of up to 10% of materials such as:




Digital versions and ebooks





Fair use” is the right to use portions of copyrighted materials without permission for purposes of education, commentary, or parody. 

Note that you must still credit the author as the original source material and reference accordingly!


Check if copying/scanning is allowed: The ICLA has made a list of Irish Excluded Works

If material already exists in a digital format, provide a link to it, rather than scanning it

Place material on the VLE, making it accessible to authorised users only

Only create copies for educational and non-commercial purposes.

Always display full bibliographic reference of the copied work

It is the individual's responsibility to ensure they are compliant with copyright law! 



The term “public domain” refers to  materials that are not under copyright. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission. 

Works can enter the public domain when: 

Copyright expires

The author places the work in the public domain before the copyright has ended or chooses not to copyright their work

Even when using material in the public domain, you must credit the original author/s


Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that permits the sharing and use of information through free and legitimate use. Their licences give you an easy and consistent way to provide permission to share and use authors work under their terms. 

Creative Commons works along with copyright enabling it to adapt to best suit a users requirements