About CLA

Who we are 

The Copyright Licensing Agency Limited (CLA) is a licensing body as defined by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

CLA was set up in 1983 and is owned by the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society Ltd. (ALCS) and the Publishers' Licensing Society Ltd. (PLS) to perform collective licensing on their behalf. 

We are a leading member of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO).

What we do


We believe that creators and publishers should receive a fair reward when their work is re-used.

We achieve this by issuing licences to organisations that want to copy and re-use their published work. The licence fees collected are then passed on to the copyright owners - the authors, publishers and visual artists - that we represent. 

By copying we mean photocopying, scanning and re-use of content from magazines, books, journals, electronic and online publications, as well as press cuttings or documents supplied by a licensed third party.

Our licences provide a cost effective way to manage the risk associated with using and reproducing copyright materials.

Who needs a licence?

Any organisation photocopying, scanning or digitally reproducing material from copyright publications will normally require a licence to ensure legal compliance. Our licences will help to reduce the risk and potential cost of copyright infringement. This requirement applies to any organisations in the business, education, public or charitable sector.

MagazinesWhat can be copied?

A CLA licence is the only way to get blanket clearance that enables you (within limits) to copy what you want, when you want, rather than having to obtain permission from the copyright owners each time.

Our licences permit copying from most titles published in the UK and over 30 other international territories.

Where does the money go?

CLA is non profit-making so all the money we collect in licence fees is distributed to the copyright owners after our costs have been deducted.

We undertake royalties data exercises with licensed organisations to help us pay the authors, publishers and visual creators whose work is being copied.

Benefits of a CLA licence

  • Allows the copying of content from most UK publications and those from over 30 international Laptopterritories
  • Reduces the risk and the potential cost of copyright infringement
  • Offers the only way to get blanket cover so you don't have to seek permission from each copyright owner individually
  • Provides the convenience and certainty of a single transaction with one annual fee

Protecting creativity

We aim to obtain fair reward for authors, visual creators and publishers for the copying of their work. By supporting them in this way CLA plays a part in maintaining the value of their work and helps to sustain creativity. 

In the last financial year, 2014-15, CLA distributed £20.7m to authors; £37m to publishers and £4.5m to visual artists.

This has helped the UK's creative industries grow to support millions of jobs and generate 5.2%* of UK GVA whilst enriching all our cultural lives.  

*DCMS, 2014



CLA's international department works to ensure that the rights mandated to CLA by copyright owners are appropriately licensed, protected and remunerated worldwide.  We work to develop better links, standards and systems with other Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) to create an international environment where copyright is stronger and creativity is protected.

CLA works closely with IFRRO
 towards the development of international standards and ways of making the exchange of fees and data more efficient and cost-effective.

Agreements with other countries make more works available for CLA's customers to copy under their licences and also enable UK rights holders to be paid when their works are copied in that country. See the current list of international territories.




CLA has a compliance arm, Copywatch
, that works to prevent illegal copying. To read more, visit copywatch.cla.co.uk 

CLA is also a member of the Alliance for Intellectual Property and a corporate affiliate member of the Trading Standards Institute.


Automated Content Access Protocol Alliance for IP