As most UCT Press authors will have entered the textbook-writing game via the route of academia, and scholarly writing, the requirements of commercial copyright permission may be new. Moreover, recent changes in the law (notably, the Berne convention’s Three-step test) have meant that international publishers are attempting to make more revenue from the third party use of excerpts (© permissions). Consequently, UCT Press has been advised to let the copyright holder determine ‘fair usage’ and Juta publishers and authors are advised to take careful note of these copyright guidelines at the planning stage of a manuscript.

When an author uses a “substantial” part of someone’s copyrighted material in a book for which that author will receive royalties, it is necessary to give the original copyright holder the opportunity to charge for the re-use of the intellectual property. Such an extract could be an extract, diagram, screenshot or even a table of research results. This is different to the scenario where an academic makes reference to another scholar’s work in their scholarly writing or research output. In such a case, proper acknowledgement is sufficient and there is no need to apply for permission. There is a specific copyright exception in the Copyright Act that allows for inclusion of copyrighted work for purposes of critique, and moreover, scholarly writing does not interfere with the economic exploitation of a work.

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