Using copyright protected material

This section provides some guidance on how to go about obtaining permissions or licences to use various copyright protected materials.

I want to photocopy an article from a book or magazine.

Buying a CLA licence provides blanket permission and avoids the need to contact the authors and publishers each time you want to make a copy.

I want to copy or download an article from an original digital publication.

Certain CLA licences permit copying from digital publications. See the list of included digital material. If the publisher is not on this list then you would need to contact that publisher directly to obtain permission.

I want to photocopy or scan a magazine article or clipping received from a press agency.

Many major magazine titles can be copied under the CLA licence although some are licensed by NLA media access ( To check permissions for any given magazine title you should use our Check Permissions search tool. Permission to copy content from national or regional newspapers is granted by NLA media access and if you are a business or public sector organisation you will need to contact them directly.

I want to use another person's slides or charts in a report or presentation.

You should contact the original creator of the work if it is unpublished or the publisher otherwise. If the work was created during the course of employment then the employer will generally be the copyright owner rather than the individual. 

I want to use a copy of a map in a publication or on a website.

You will need to get permission from the map publisher. Standard licences are available from most major map publishing companies such as Street Map and the Ordnance Survey

I want to copy an article obtained from a document library.

You can make copies when you hold a CLA licence.

I want to store an article on our company intranet.

CLA offer limited storage for up to 30 days under the terms of certain licences providing that the publisher is shown on the list of included digital material. If the publisher does not appear on the list you would need to seek clearance from them directly.

I want to reproduce a design or artwork in a publication or on a product.

You will need to ask for permission from the owner of the copyright or obtain permission from the Design and Artists Copyright Society (


You can also find information about using copyright material and how to obtain licences and clearances by accessing the following websites


Copyright and Schools

Published by an industry group of licensing bodies, this site provides comprehensive information about using any types of copyright materials, from books to music to films and allows schools to check the permissions required for a variety of activities. 


The Copyright Hub

This site is the gateway to information about copyright in the UK. It points you in the right direction whether you want to learn about copyright, get permission to use somebody else's work or find out about protecting your work.  


The Content Map

This site is a safe and reliable guide to legal digital services and provides a comprehensive list of legitimate websites. 


Intellectual Property Office 

The website of the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom.


Automated Content Access Protocol Alliance for IP