NHS Scotland licence

From 1st April 2011, NHS Boards in Scotland and their employees were no longer covered by a central CLA licence.  As of August 2011, NHS Scotland issued revised guidance on copyright law to their staff following representations by CLA resulting in a ‘no on-site copying or scanning’ policy.  This means that NHS Boards in Scotland and their employees are no longer allowed, as a matter of internal NHS policy, to photocopy or scan during the course of their employment and the views expressed by CLA below must be read subject to that change in policy.

However, CLA believes that compliance with this policy will not be feasible in practice and that copying will inevitably occur.  Therefore, in the absence of a central CLA licence, individual Boards and their employees will now have to obtain permission from the copyright owner (the relevant author, artist or publisher) or a duly authorized agent on their behalf on each occasion for any copying, scanning or digital re-use of any books, journals, magazines or other periodicals normally covered by the CLA Licence and protected by copyright outside of the limited statutory exceptions.


Risk of copyright infringement

Without permission any individual copying events would constitute an act of copyright infringement unless falling within one of the narrow statutory exceptions to copyright, exposing both the Boards and their employees to the risk of legal action for infringement.

Alternatively, a Board can apply for a CLA licence directly to ensure that employees can copy and share published information with the appropriate copyright permissions enjoyed previously through the central licence. See 'how to apply' below.  

Notes about NHSiS advice

CLA has published information in response to the advice issued by the Department of Health for the Scottish Government, warning individual employees and NHSiS Boards that they cannot rely on statutory exceptions to remain copyright compliant. Download to read or print.

We have also published a background document about UK copyright law. Read more

Information for employees

CLA has produced some detailed FAQ's about what can and cannot be copied to help you assess whether you are at risk of infringement. Download to read or print

If you become aware of unauthorised copying within your Board, you can report details in confidence to

How to apply for a licence for your Board

To ensure that your Board can continue to benefit from the coverage afforded by the CLA licence please contact Jim MacNeilage on 0131 272 2711 or email  jim.macneilage@cla.co.uk to discuss licensing options.

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