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

Reporting and Managing Digital Copies

CLA needs to collect certain data from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) regarding Digital Copies of the copyrighted material used in the course of study. This information is used to help us to pay royalties to copyright owners.

Any digital copies you make for a Course of Study are subject to regular reporting arrangements agreed between CLA and the UUK/GuildHE CNAC.

The documents included here are intended to help Higher Education Institutions that are required to provide the Digital Copy Record Form, understand the requirements for reporting and managing digital copies under the CLA HE Licence.

You can find answers to the most commonly asked questions in our FAQ section below, however, if you have any specific questions related to annual reporting, please send them to

Please note that documents in this section don’t apply if your institution is planning to automate your reporting via the DCS or Talis Aspire Digitised Content.

Guide to Reporting and Managing Digital Copies

Instructions for completing the DCRF

Reporting Schedule 2020 - 2023

Digital Copy Record Form - FULL

Digital Copy Record Form - NEW

Please also refer to our Education Customer Knowledgebase to view this information. 


Digital Copy Record Form FAQs

When is the deadline for returning the Digital Copy Record Form (DCRF)this year?

The Digital Copy Record From (DCRF) has to be returned on or before the 15th of June every year and should contain data for digital copies made during the reporting period 1st of June and 31st of May. You don’t need to necessarily report all digital copies you have made during that period. In some years you only need to report any new digital copies. Please refer to the Reporting Schedule on our website to find out which reporting cycle your HEI falls in each year and download the relevant spreadsheet from our website.

Where shall I send the DCRF when I have completed it?

Please send your completed form to

What do you mean by digital copies? Do I have to report extracts we have used from ebooks that are already digital?

By digital copies we mean scans made from printed material and copies made from digital originals. Copies have to have been made under the CLA Higher Education Licence and the material has to be part of the CLA repertoire and covered for scanning or copying from the digital edition under the CLA Higher Education Licence. You can find out whether the material is covered by entering the ISBN/ISSN to the Check Permissions tool.

I have been sent a request to return a Digital Copy Record Form. Why do I have to do this?

The requirement is part of the terms and conditions of the CLA Higher Education Licence. CLA needs to collect certain data from HEIs regarding Digital Copies, to inform the fair distribution of Licence fees to copyright owners and to monitor usage trends under the Licence. Data received from UUK/GuildHE members is also shared with the UUK/GuildHE Copyright Negotiating and Advisory Committee, to help inform Licence negotiations.

Do I need to report digital copies made for staff?

The CLA Higher Education Licence permits sharing of copies with staff that fall outside of the usual teaching and learning provisions, for example copies made for administrative purposes or to share an article in a magazine that mentions the university. These copies do not have to be included in the DCRF.  

I have direct permission from the publisher. Do I need to report these scans?

No, you only need to report copies you have made under the CLA Higher Education Licence. If you have shared copies because you have direct permission from the publisher or because of any other primary agreement you may have, you don’t need to tell us.

One of our students has made scans for their course work. How do I report these?

Copies made for private study and research don’t have to be included in the DCRF. Please only report digital copies made for a course or module to students registered on the course.

A tutor has used images from Google? Should we report these?

Images available on Google are not covered for copying under any CLA Licences and should not be reported. These images are protected by copyright like any other intellectual property and you should always get permission from the copyright owner or check the terms of use of the website where the images are hosted before using them. Just because something is free to view doesn’t mean it is also free to use. The same applies to other material found on the Internet.

We just signed up to use the DCS. Do we need to send the DCRF this year?

The Digital Content Store (DCS) automates the reporting of digital copies for you so you don’t need to fill in the DCRF. Depending on your go-live date for using the DCS you may not need to fill in the DCRF. Please discuss this with the DCS Team. CLA also have a Third Party Technology Partner (TPTP) Licence, which enables licensed technology partners to automate these processes on behalf of their customers as well.

We have not made any digital copies. Do we still need to fill in the DCRF?

If you have not made any digital copies during the reporting period 1st of June to the 31st of May, please still let us know by returning a ‘nil return’ to us.

We have used the same extract for two courses? Is it enough to report it just once if it’s the same page range?

Please create a an entry for each course where the extract is used during the reporting period. If you are using previously reported material for a new course, this needs to be reported again.

Our tutors copy their own course material. Do we still need to fill in the DCRF?

Yes, you do. It is a requirement of the CLA Higher Education Licence terms and conditions. If your library doesn’t centrally manage the digital copies request, as a Licensee you have to put structures in place that ensure that all digital copies are reported to CLA each year.

I understand that students can access copies made for previous courses until they graduate? Do I have to report these again when the HEI has been selected for a the Full Reporting schedule because students have still access to them?

Please don’t reference any cohort of students that has completed a listed course but still has access to its content for the remainder of that particular cohort’s degree programme.

If a tutor prints out scanned copies to hand out to students do I have to report these?

Print outs from scans are considered paper copies and should not be included in the DCRF.

We have used content where permissions were purchased through the Second Extract Permissions Service? Do we need to report these scans in the DCRF?

You don’t need to include Second Extract Permissions Service purchases on the DCRF. When you complete the purchase in the system, CLA already record the course details, number of students and page range. There is no need to report these extracts again.

We have purchased copyright fee paid copies via EHESS from the British Library. Should we include these or do copies obtained via EHESS fall outside the scope of reporting for digital copies?

If you have made digital copies from a copyright fee paid copy to share with students on a course, then you should report them in the same way as other digital copies made from books, journals or magazines under the CLA Licence - according to your reporting schedule for that year. Purchasing copyright fee paid copies through EHESS is just another means to purchase content, e.g. you could purchase a copyright-free paid copy from EHESS and keep in library stock without sharing it on a course. If further digital copies are made for a course, please report them.

Please note: If you purchase a copyright fee paid copy specifically with a view to share this with students, please make sure to check that further copying is permitted under the CLA Higher Education Licence. Not all material that is available from the British Library is covered for scanning and vice versa. 

Do we need to include photocopies in our annual reporting or are they not considered digitization?

Photocopies are considered paper copies and don't need to be included on the DCRF. For the purpose of annual reporting we only need data on scans are content taken from born-digital material (e.g. ebooks).

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