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Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

Your guide to understanding copyright law and intellectual property rights

The University holds a number of licences which permit staff and students to reuse copyrighted material for the purposes of teaching, learning and assessment. 

Educational Licences

Photocopying Under the CLA Licence

The Licence permits extracts from most books, journals, periodicals, conference proceedings and law reports. There are some restrictions - check the CLA excluded categories list.

It is important to be aware that the copies must be made from either:

  • An original of the book, journal or magazine owned by the HEI or
  • A copyright fee paid copy of a chapter / article supplied by an organisation holding a document delivery licence with CLA (e.g. British Library)

Please note that Musical Scores (printed music, including the words) are not covered by the CLA Licence. The Music Publishers Association provides further information and links.

If a particular combination of photocopies and / or digital copies made available under the CLA Licence had an adverse impact on a student's decision to buy one or more textbooks for their course, this would be considered by the CLA to be textbook substitution. It is in conflict with the principles of non-substitution set out in the Licence.

To ensure you are meeting the requirements of the Licence, see the CLA and UUK Good Practice Guide.

Scanning under the CLA Licence

The Library offers a library resource Scanning service for academic staff, under the terms of the CLA Licence. This makes articles / book chapters owned by the University available online to students through reading lists on Canvas. Library staff will make all the necessary checks to ensure that the resources scanned comply with the terms of the CLA Licence.

The Licence permits scanning of extracts from printed books, journals and magazines which are owned by the University (not personal copies) and which are not in their lists of excluded categories or works excluded from scanning.

Generally, the limits on the amount of any individual work that may be photocopied or scanned under the terms of the CLA Licence are the same as those that apply to "fair dealing", but our CLA Licence now allows up to 10% of the total publication.

If the work you want to copy is excluded from the Licence you must seek permission from the copyright holder - usually the author or publisher.

Details of scanning undertaken by the University under the CLA Comprehensive Licence must be recorded and submitted annually to the CLA via the CLA Licence Co-ordinator (Head of Customer Services, Newcastle University Library).

If you have any questions about the service or a particular request please contact:

What can be copied under our CLA comprehensive licence

Full details of what can and can't be copied or scanned can be found in the CLA User Guidelines to the Comprehensive Licence.


Newcastle University holds the CLA Comprehensive Licence, which allows us to copy from digital content published by CLA’s Participating Digital Material Publishers. See Excluded works. It additionally enables institutions to download and store content, and to print out multiple paper copies, from this repertoire.


Any paper copies printed out may be retained by the students for whom they were made.

Institutions can copy from content they own or subscribe to, whether this consists of a whole publication or individual chapters / articles supplied on a ‘pay-per-view’ basis.

With the Comprehensive Licence, there is no need to check individual publishers’ terms and conditions each time you wish to copy digital content – CLA’s blanket terms and conditions apply. Where the CLA Licence is more generous than a publisher’s own primary agreement, then the terms and conditions of the former can be exploited. For example, if a primary licence agreement does not permit an institution to download and/or print out a chapter that constitutes more than 5% of the total publication, the CLA Licence will enable this. The CLA licence allows copying of up to 10% of the total publication.

The Licence removes any uncertainty over instable links, and may facilitate easier access for students – particularly those studying remotely via a Distance Learning course (i.e. those students whose course is based in the UK but who live overseas).

The CLA, however, no longer include Overseas Campus and Partner Institutions in their Fee calculations. This means that scanned readings cannot be made available to these students. It is an issue of concern to many HEs and the CLA has now agreed to discuss the situation again with the rightsholders.

Clarification from the CLA:

Unlike overseas Distance Learners – whose study is done directly and remotely with a UK institution - the Licence has never actually referenced students studying at overseas campuses. This omission was probably not much of an issue when the Licence was originally drafted (some years ago now). The issue was raised at various meetings with UUK and publishers with both agreeing that it was never the intention to provide this sort of coverage, and certainly CLA currently has no mandate from its rightsholders to provide it. We drew HEIs' attention to this non-coverage about a year ago when the User Guidelines were revised. 
However, we appreciate that times have changed and that they will continue to do so. CLA appreciates that universities are keen to do the right thing, and would like to advise as follows (point 3 may be of particular interest).

1. CLA has not revised the terms of the Licence, which is always agreed jointly between CLA and UUK/GuildHE.
2. Following our meeting with UUK/GuildHE last month, CLA accepts that the coverage of students based at overseas campuses of UK universities is something that now needs to be fully addressed, and we will approach our rightsholders with a view to including in the new licence from August 2013.
3. CLA has already communicated to the HE sector its recognition that there is some uncertainty around this issue on the part of universities, but insofar as this activity is not covered by the Licence, CLA would not seek in this respect to penalize any universities with overseas campuses pending a new and revised Licence.
4. As agreed with UUK/GuildHE, since the introduction of the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record CLA has been removing students reported under Item 2 for invoicing purposes.

Clarification as sent to lis-copyseek mailing list October 2012

The NLA Educational Licence covers copying from UK national daily and Sunday newspapers plus several regional newspapers.

The University's Press Office handles all queries regarding the NLA Licence. 

NLA logo

The  University holds an ERA Licence which enables the recording off-air of programmes broadcast by various terrestrial TV and radio stations.

Before you request or make a recording, check to see if the programme you require is available via Box of Broadcasts
Box of Broadcasts provides access to over 2.2 million programmes from over 75 TV and radio channels, including most of the UK's freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. You can view archived programmes, record new ones, and create clips and playlists. On our resource blog, we recommend hints and tips for making the most out of BoB. This resource is not available outside the UK.

The Open Government Licence (OGL) is a simple set of terms and conditions that facilitates the re-use of a wide range of public sector information free of charge.

Developed by The National Archives, the OGL enables public bodies to license their information in a consistent way, akin to the Creative Commons CC-BY Attribution License.

To reuse Crown Copyright and public sector information look out for:

  • A clear statement indicating that the information is licensed under the OGL
  • A hyperlink to the appropriate OGL
  • The attribution statement required when reusing and citing the information

See further Guidance for Users.