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Copyright guidance

Assistance with matters relating to copyright for Edinburgh Napier University staff and students

Licences held by Edinburgh Napier University

If you are not sure if your material is legal, it may be a good time to take a look round.

The Licensing Agency sites contain a lot of useful information, and the CLA site has tools that can help you check out specific items.

CLA - Copyright Licensing Agency

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) - Higher Education License

The CLA Higher Education Licence provides blanket permissions to photocopy and scan from millions of books, journals and magazines. 

Full information is provided in the User Guidelines on the CLA Licence Documents page, and there is also a very useful Quick Guide for Academic Staff.

Here is our quick summary of the main points.

The CLA Licence covers:

  • Most UK publications
  • Most publications from a number of European countries and international territories
  • USA publications if opted in to the scheme
  • The global output of certain publishers

The CLA provides a Check Permissions tool on the CLA Higher Education Licence page so you can find out if your item is included. Select Higher Education licence type. Permissions can vary depending on whether you want to provide paper or digital copies, and this will be indicated also.

Further restrictions apply:

  • The university must own a copy of the item
  • Anyone can make photocopies for distribution, but only a designated member of library staff may scan items for Moodle.
  • Copies can only be provided for a particular cohort of students, one copy per student or tutor
  • Copies can only be made for a specified time-period, but can be renewed
  • Copies for overseas students must be made in the UK.
  • Digital copies can only be made available on a secure server, i.e. Moodle, not on open webpages.
  • Strict limits apply - one chapter from a book or one article from a journal, or 10% of the whole, whichever is the greater.  One scene from a play / one item from an anthology, and not more than 10 pages altogether.  One paper from a conference, one case from law reports.
  • You may shorten items, but otherwise no alterations can be made.
  • Newspapers can be checked n the permissions search box.
  • Printed music and maps and charts are not covered by the scheme.

Paper copies - can be made by anyone

  • Multiple photocopies sourced from printed books, journals and magazines
  • Printouts from digital material (such as e-books, e-journals and material from websites)
  • Copies and coursepacks can be placed in library reserve collections, but are subject to all the same restrictions

Digital copies  -  need to be made by library staff 

  • Made by scanning from printed books, journals and magazines
  • Sourced from digital material
  • Please see our Digital Extracts webpage for more information, and to access our request form.

We would recommend linking to resources via Moodle rather than making digital copies, unless there is a good reason to do otherwise.


NLA - Newspaper Licensing Agency

Newspaper Licensing Agency

The Newspaper Licensing Agency has appointed CLA  (Copyright Licensing Agency)  as its exclusive agent for all UK education licensing.

There are two types of licence available:

Basic Licence

Provides cover for occasional copying of both the printed and online versions of national newspapers and selected regional newspapers.

Newspaper permissions can be checked within the checking tool on the CLA Higher Education Licence page

Frequent Copying

Provides cover for regular copying and distribution of articles within your organisation, including content supplied by a third party such as a public relations consultancy or media monitoring agency.

This includes:

  • Scanning and emailing articles to your staff and students
  • Placing articles on an intranet or shared drive for your staff and students to view
  • Allowing your staff to access via your media monitoring service
  • Emailing articles received from your PR agency in your organisation


ERA - Educational Recording Agency

ERA - Educational Recording Agency

Permits recording of terrestrial and freeview television and radio broadcasts for non-commercial educational use.

  • Scheduled free to air radio and television broadcasts
  • On-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player etc.
  • Podcasts

Full information is provided in the ERA Licence FAQs page, but here is a summary of the main points:

Recordings can be made at home by university staff to use for screening in class or secure network use, or to deliver to the library for storage and upload to the online video server.

Certain conditions apply:

  • Extracts from programmes can be stored, but no other alterations may be made.
  • All recordings must be clearly labelled with the date of recording, name of the broadcaster, programme title and wording "This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes unter the terms of the ERA Licence".  Online recordings require this to be included as a written opening credit or webpage which must be viewed before access.
  • The license does not permit the showing of recordings for entertainment purposes.
  • The license does not cover copying of commercially-produced materials.
  • Recordings to be stored as DVDs or on the university's Online Video server must be made by designated library staff, and multiple copies can be made.
  • Recording in digital form can be made available via a secure electronic network, such as Moodle, but overseas access to the recordings must be restricted to the UK.  Recordings must not be made available on open web pages.
  • Recordings on DVD can be stored in the library and loaned to staff and students in the UK only.  Copying of these recordings is not permitted.
  • Still images are not covered by the scheme.


The Music Licence - PRS, MCPS, PPL

The Music Licence

The University is required by law to make returns to the Performing Right Society (PRS).  The PRS pays royalties to composers, songwriters and publishers when their music is broadcast on TV or radio, performed or played in public, whether live or recorded, or streamed or downloaded.    They work in conjunction with the MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society) who pay royalties when their works are copied as physical products (e.g. CD or DVDs), streamed or downloaded, or used in TV and film.

We also have to make returns to the PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) which pays royalties to record companies and performers for recorded music broadcast on TV, radio or online, and also when TV or radio is played in public places. 

This all sounds complicated, but these organisations now work together and provide their services via The Music Licence.

So this means that if you are doing any of these things you just need to make one report.

Contact the University's Property & Facilities Service Desk to find out how to report your data.

Music used in lectures, for the purpose of education, does not require to be included in the return.

Music that must be reported includes music used on university premises for events such as open days (university, department, school) campus openings, sporting activities/classes, background music, promotional discs, hosted dinners etc  Playlists should be provided, including the recording artist's name or the group or individual performer’s name.