Posting Book covers on social media promoting what we are reading

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Posting Book covers on social media promoting what we are reading

Post by GCourt »

I work in school in the UK and we were wanting to promote the books we are reading with different year groups on our social media accounts with the book cover images, and we want to check if this would be infringing copyright.

I think that if we were posting reviews of these books with the cover images that would be covered under fair dealing, but I'm not clear if this would apply if we are just stating what we are reading would this be infringing copyright?
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Re: Posting Book covers on social media promoting what we are reading

Post by AndyJ »

Hi GCourt,

You are right that if this use was directly related to criticism or review of the books concerned, the exception contained in section 30 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 would probably apply and there would be no infringement. However you seem to be merely advertising the fact that these books are being read or are due to be read by the students, and so that falls some way outside the purpose of the exception and would not be fair dealing.

Something similar applies to the exception provided for in section 36 CDPA which deals with the copying and use of extracts of works by educational establishments. Although at first glance this looks like it may cover what you want to do, it is clear from subsections (2) and (3) that because social media would be involved, the copied work would not be restricted to just the staff and pupils, so again this provision wouldn't cover you either.

However it is clear that there is a strong moral justification for what you want to do since it is in support of education more broadly, and so if your school doesn't already have a blanket CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) education licence, it would be well worth talking to the staff at the CLA to see whether an exemption or some other dispensation can be arranged.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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