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Copyright: Copyright for Students

IT Carlow Library's guide to copyright

What students should know about copyright

While as a student you may have Fair Use exemptions in the category of use for educational purposes, you must still adhere to copyright regulations. You can still infringe copyright law. While Fair Dealing allows for the copying of a single work for individual use, there are still limits that are laid out below.

What can you copy?


10% or one chapter from a book, if it does not exceed the 10% threshold of the book as a whole. Full works, for example, full text of a book can not be taken and photocopied, this applies only to one work on one course of study. 

In the case of short stories and poems, the whole work can be copied as long as it is below 10 pages. 

However it must be noted that this only applies to material that the Institute owns, either through owning a copy of the item or a subscription to a database that holds the item. 


In the case of a journal article or periodical online or offline you may copy the full text of one article but only one article from that particular issue of the journal or periodical. 

It is now possible to copy up to 10% of a website page content under the license however this is dependent on the website's policy in relation to this around copying content.   


You can copy illustrations that are in an article or work you have copied using the license before without providing the text.  

Know your limits when it comes to copyright

As a student, it is important that you familiarise yourself with copyright regulations as much as you can. As a student, you may have Fair Use exemptions in the category of use for educational purposes, but there are still exceptions to this as outlined below. The concept of Fair Use in education only applies to a certain degree with copyrighted works - it does not apply when it leads to a significant infringement of the rights both (financially or ethically) of the creator of the work.

This generally prohibits:

  • Producing multiple copies of a work.
  • Reproducing an entire work.                                                                                                      
  • Redistributing copies of the work.
  • Reproducing and selling copies of the work
  • Sharing copies of a work with a friend or family member.
  • Reproducing substantial parts of the works, this, while incredibly vague, generally means to avoid reproducing more than 10% or a chapter of a book or 5% or one article from a journal issue. 

Any of these actions are not protected under Fair Dealing.

Most importantly that any use of copyrighted work has an attribution to the original author