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Copyright exists to protect the creators of original pieces of intellectual work and to prevent the abuse of their ideas in any format. It is the responsibility of the College to put in place all possible precautions to prevent breaches of copyright. The Library has a particular responsibility in this area and must do everything in its power to ensure copyright regulations are followed and readers are asked to abide by the regulations. Library procedures are designed to ensure that copyright clearance is obtained before material is added to library stock specifically for photocopying or scanning purposes. Photocopying guidelines are displayed at each photocopier. It is the policy of this institution to meet all its obligations under the CLA Higher Education Licence.


What is covered by Copyright

  • All original literary works, drama, music and artistic works
  • All sound recordings, photographs, films, videos and all broadcast or cable programmes
  • Typographical arrangements of previously published editions
  • Computer programs, databases, online publications etc. While work published on the Internet may be publicly accessible, it is not always copyright free.


Copying under licence

If a text is in copyright, certain amounts may be copied for research or teaching under the provisions of the CLA HE licence agreement (Copyright Notice)


As a licensed institution we can:

  • Copy 10% of a book or one whole chapter – whichever is the greatest
  • Copy 10% of a magazine/journal or a whole article – whichever is the greatest
  • Copy one short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • Copy one whole scene from a play
  • Copy one whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • Make copies of content from digital material including e-books, online journals and free-to-view websites
  • Copy an entire report of a single case from a published report of judicial proceedings
  • Type in the ISBN or title into an easy to use permissions tool to find out if a particular work is covered by the Licence
  • Create accessible versions of texts and images for visually impaired students
  • Project web pages onto your whiteboard or screen
  • Embed images into your own work
  • Create course packs using extracts from a range of print and digital material

Digital publications:

  • Where a digital publication is not organised in a similiar way to conventional printed copies, you are advised to exsercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts
  • Digital copies (whether made by scanning from print or copying from digital publications) may only be made by members of staff who have been specifically trained in this role

Who can I make copies for?

  • Copies may be distributed to registered students and members of staff, with strict reference to a Course of Study

Duration of course:

  • The licence will permit course readings available to students for the full duration of their degree programme (or equivalent programme of study) rather than for the duration of a course of study only

NLA Education Establishment Licence for print and digital newspapers:

Excluded Categories (https://www.cla.co.uk/excluded/he-print)

  • Some categories of published works are not covered by any of CLA's licences and these include:

    • printed music (including the words)*
    • maps and charts
    • workbooks, workcards or assignment sheets 
    • In addition to this there are works that are expressly excluded by the copyright owners

    A list of those works excluded directly by the author or the visual artist can be seen here.


Who owns copyright and how long it lasts
The creator of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works owns the copyright, and their estate continues to own the copyright until 70 years after their death. After that period the work is deemed to be out of copyright unless republished, in which case…

  • Publishers own the copyright until 25 years after the end of the year of publication.
  • The employer, not the employee, owns a piece of work written by an employee of an organization, for that organization, unless a contract specifies otherwise.
  • Anyone involved in the artistic production of a film recording owns the copyright for his or her contribution for 70 years after the production of the film.
  • Sound recordings, broadcasts and computer works are covered by copyright for 50 years and everyone, from the composer to the CD cover designer, has their work protected.


The Offprint Collection
The College pays an HE licence to cover material held in the offprint collection. The "fair dealing" licence rules above apply e.g. Photocopies of more than one chapter from a book cannot be placed in the collection.

  • Copies may be made for the collection from an original held by the College if a cover sheet identifying copyright clearance is attached and "fair dealing" rules are applied.
  • Material for which the copyright holder has given copyright clearance can be added to the collection. A cover sheet must be attached identifying copyright clearance.
  • Permission must be sought from the copyright holder for the inclusion of items breaking copyright.


Scanned documents

  • One chapter from a book or one article from an issue of a journal held by the College may be scanned and made available online to students via the College intranet.
  • Any document scanned for the Library must include a cover sheet (found on the College Intranet), which identifies the bibliographic details of the chapter and book concerned, along with the modules supporting the scan.
  • Articles may be requested from the British Library, provided that copyright clearance is applied for in advance. Normal copyright restrictions apply and some publishers withhold permission for scanning.


Check permissions

To make sure the resource you want to reproduce is covered by the CLA Higher Education Licence, use the CLA Check Permissions search tool to simply enter the ISBN/ISSN or the title (or top-level website domain) to check. Using the ISBN/ISSN is the most effective search method as this is a unique number that will identify the exact publication, whereas searching by title can bring up a number of similar results.


Glossary of terms


A Glossary is provided by the UK Copyright Service.


Further Information


User guidelines (1 Aug 2019-31 July 2022)

Guidance to copyright law
JISC guides

CLA guides

NLA newspaper guide

ERA Educational Recording Agency guide

Useful links