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Check Permissions

Find out what can be copied, shared or re-used under your licence.

Don't risk copyright infringement in your workplace

Most published content is protected by copyright. If you wish to copy, share and re-use it at work, then permission is required to avoid breaking the law.

This applies to all types of publications whether digital or print as well as externally supplied press cuttings or purchased documents.

Our teams work to reduce illegal copying that denies authors, visual artists and publishers an income from the re-use of their work.

What do we mean by compliance?

By compliance, we mean following best practices to reduce risk and respect copyright.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 gives the copyright owner (creator or publisher) exclusive rights so that their permission must be obtained before anyone can reproduce an extract of their work during their employment. If permission is not obtained then you risk copyright infringement. The easiest way to do this is to obtain a CLA copyright licence. 

What is covered by copyright?

Most published content used by a business or public sector organisation will be protected by copyright.

This includes press cuttings (even from an external supplier) as well as content from online or print books, magazines, newspapers, journals, research papers and documents including most websites.

What happens in cases of copyright infringement?

Potential penalties and costs

Our compliance team will investigate reports of potential infringement and will initiate legal action on behalf of the copyright owners where appropriate. They use a variety of methods to monitor and investigate organisations where we suspect that illegal copying may be taking place. They will also follow up reports of copyright infringement in the workplace that are received from individuals.

Evidence of infringement presented by CLA normally results in an out of court settlement and/or the purchase of a licence. If infringement is proved the costs can be varied and damaging, so it makes sense to avoid the risks and potential costs and obtain a licence from us in advance. Read the Brighton and Hove Council and the Capita infringement cases.

We recommend that you get yourself covered immediately by starting your licence application today.


Read on to see the 3 ways that copyright infringement can cost your organisation if a claim against it is upheld.

Financial costs Reputational costs Personal costs
Copyright owners can seek a range of remedies for infringement, including an injunction, damages for losses, an account of the infringer's profits or the right to seize infringing copies. Any legal action is bad publicity and can have a negative effect on your reputation and brand, affecting incoming investment and possibly future revenues. These effects can be substantial depending on the status and nature of your organisation.  Individual officers of a company can be held responsible and employees can be personally liable for infringement in certain circumstances.

We recommend that you get yourself covered immediately by starting your application today.

If you would like to read about the licences on offer before deciding, you can read our licence guide.

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We are members of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Trading Standards produce guidance for businesses on many issues including IP and copyright. It is free, impartial and Government backed.

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