University licences

The University holds a number of licences that allow staff to copy materials for the educational use of students. Each licence covers different materials, and there are terms and conditions that staff should be aware of before making use of them.

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence

The  CLA Higher Education Licence allows copying of published text based works in our library collections, as well as some free to view website content. Use can be for teaching or administrative purposes and copies must be made in the UK. 

What the licence allows for teaching

Use must be for a specific course of study and copies only made available to students on that course. 

Paper copies

You may make paper copies from print and digital publications covered by the licence for distribution to groups of registered students on a course – enough for one copy per student plus a copy for each tutor. Paper copies can either be: 

  • Photocopies of extracts from printed books and journals
  • Printouts of extracts from digital publications (such as ebooks, ejournals and material from some free to view websites)

Please ensure you check the licence conditions before producing any photocopies or printouts. See the checklist below.

Digital copies

Digital copies of extracts and images can be created by scanning from printed books and journals. Where necessary we may also be able to create digital copies from some ebooks, ejournals and free to view websites.

Digital copies must have a copyright notice added and be centrally stored and recorded to allow for annual reporting to the CLA. This means the creation of digital copies for teaching under the licence may only be carried out by the Library Scanning Service

Links to digital copies can be made available via a secure VLE, such as Moodle, or an online reading list for the course. They can also be used on digital whiteboards and in Powerpoint presentations.

See the  Scanning Service page for how to request digital extracts.


What the licence allows for administration

The licence allows university staff to copy for administrative purposes and  share internally. For example, you may want to photocopy an article to share with colleagues, or use digital content in an internal presentation.

Use must be for a single occasion and not related to teaching activities.

Please ensure you check the licence conditions before producing any paper or digital copies. See the checklist below.

Paper copies

You may make paper copies from print and digital publications that are covered by the licence. Paper copies can either be: 

  • Photocopies of extracts from printed books and journals
  • Printouts of extracts from digital publications (such as ebooks, ejournals and material from some free to view websites)

Digital copies

Digital copies of extracts can be made from printed books and journals that are covered by the licence. Where necessary you may also be able to create digital copies from some ebooks, ejournals and free to view websites. 

Staff can produce digital copies themselves and there is no requirement to attach a copyright notice or record/report digital copies made.

Copies may only be shared using a secure internal university network.  


Licence conditions checklist 

Before copying under the licence you must check the following:

  • The university must own the work to be copied/scanned.

    This means items should be in stock in the library, or come from School/Departmental collections. You cannot copy from works owned by individual members of staff, interlibrary loans, inspection copies, review copies or preprints.
  • For each course of study you can only copy, whichever is the greater of 10% of a whole work, or:

one chapter from a book
one article from a journal issue
one paper from a set of conference proceedings
one scene from a play
one short story or poem or play of not more than 10 pages from an anthology of short stories, poems or plays
one report of a single case from a report of judicial proceedings

  • The work or website must be covered by the licence for the type of copying you want to do. Some publishers, works and countries are excluded.

    The CLA provides an online check permissions search to check if a work is covered. It tells you what copying is allowed: 

photocopying - paper copies from print publications
scanning - digital copies from print publications
digital - paper or digital copies from digital publications

If the work is not found, or you are unsure whether you can copy please email us

  • The licence does not cover printed music, maps, charts, newspapers (see the NLA licence), and unpublished materials.
  • Text book substitution (applies to copying for teaching) - The sum of extracts copied for a particular course must not substitute a textbook for the course. The CLA provide a  good practice guide that you should read if you are photocopying or requesting scans under the licence. To avoid textbook substitution you should try to have at least one textbook as essential/core reading on your reading list.

For further help please see the CLA Licence User guidelines or email us


Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) HE Licence

Under the terms of the NLA Higher Education Licence, staff may photocopy or scan cuttings from most UK newspapers for use in teaching.

What the licence allows

You may distribute cuttings to students as photocopies, within Powerpoint slides, or as digital copies by email.

You may not make more than 250 copies of any one cutting. Copies should have attached the notice: “NLA licensed copy. No further copies may be made except under licence”.

The licence defines a cutting as:

  • an article, report, artistic work (including for the avoidance of doubt photographs), advertisement or other item in an NLA Newspaper, or on an NLA Newspaper Website, or
  • a copy of the whole or part (including the headline) of such an article, report, artistic work or other item.


The licence covers most UK national newspapers. This includes copying from some online editions. For an up to date list of titles please check the NLA website. You may also copy from regional titles, the following five regional titles are automatically covered:

  • Nottingham Post
  • Derby Telegraph
  • Derbyshire Times (North)
  • Metro East Midlands
  • Lincolnshire Echo

If you want to copy from other regional titles please email us first.

The licence does not cover foreign language newspapers, or specialist titles for teaching purposes.


Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence

The University holds an Educational Recording Agency Licence that permits staff to record, for non-commercial educational purposes, broadcast outputs of ERA members. The licence also enables licensed ERA recordings to be accessed by students and staff online (e.g. via Moodle, or other closed network) whether they are on the premises of the University, or elsewhere in the UK.

What the licence allows

The ERA scheme permits recordings of broadcasts to be made for non-commercial educational use. 

A 'broadcast' is defined as a transmission for simultaneous and lawful reception by members of the public i.e. it is not encrypted or encoded and is for general reception, unlike pay per view services. The ERA licence therefore covers scheduled free to air broadcasts on:

  • BBC television and radio
  • ITV Network services
  • Channel Four and E4
  • Five Television

It also applies to any other licensed broadcast services of ERA members. It covers both radio and television services. 

See ERA Licence FAQs for further information.  


How to make recordings

The licence allows you to use Box of Broadcasts (Bob), a subscription service operated by the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC). You can use the BoB online pre-booking feature to record programmes due to be broadcast on UK terrestrial and Freeview Channels. These can then be shared with students via the service.

See the BoB FAQs for further information.



University of Nottingham Libraries

King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

Please see our Help and support page for
telephone and email
contact points