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Copyright and licensing in Higher Education

Guidance for copyright and licensing issues

University of Northampton Educational Licences: Overview

The University of Northampton holds several educational licences that enable us to legally copy and share material for teaching and learning purposes with our students:

  • The CLA Higher Education Licence, which enables our Digitisation Service to obtain digital copies of extracts for inclusion on online reading lists linked from within NILE. The licence also permits our staff and students make photocopies within specified limits.
  • Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence, which enables tutors to create a repository of off-air broadcasts delivered via the Box of Broadcasts service.

  • Newspaper Licencing Agency (NLA) Education Establishment Licence, which enables University staff to copy and reuse print and digital news content.

The CLA Higher Education Licence

The University of Northampton holds a CLA Higher Education Licence that, subject to terms and conditions, permits the copying and re-use of extracts of text and still images from printed books, journals and magazines, and from digital publications including some free-to-view and subscription websites.

Can anyone at the institution copy under the Licence?

  1. The library's Digitisation Service are permitted to make or obtain digital copies (whether made by scanning from print or copying from digital publication). The licence enables them to obtain a digital copy of one chapter or one article (or up to 10% of the work, whichever is the greatest) and share it under secure single sign-on with students via the online reading list for the module, within NILE. Under the licence, is it only designated library staff who are permitted to do this.
  2. The licence also permits University's staff and students to make photocopies of one chapter or one article (or up to 10% of the work, whichever is the greatest).

Who can I make copies for?

Copies may be distributed to registered students and members of staff. Copies made for students on a particular module or programme are subject to specific conditions and reporting requirements and can only be made by the Digitisation Service.

What can I copy?

Up to the following may be copied under the Licence, either as photocopies by students and members of staff, or as digital copies by the Digitisation Service:

  • One whole chapter from a book
  • One whole article from a journal issue
  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • One whole scene from a play
  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings
  • Or 10% of the total publication, whichever is the greater
  • Where a digital publication is not organised in a similar way to conventional printed items, the CLA advises to exercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts.

What if I need more than 10%?

The library's Digitisation Service can also licence further content via the Second Extracts Permission Service for inclusion on the online module reading list, linked from within NILE. This service enables us to obtain an additional digital copy of one chapter or one article (or up to 10% of the work, whichever is the greatest). 

Scan quality

We usually obtain our scans via the British Library and CLA Enhanced Higher Education Supply Service (EHESS), which means we receive a high quality OCR scan, which is better for users with visual impairments.

Digitisation Service

If you have copyright material you would like digitised and linked securely within your online reading list, contact the Digitisation Service.

The Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence and Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

The ERA Licence authorises us to create libraries or repositories of broadcasts to copy, access and use, for non-commercial educational purposes from the broadcast output of the ERA’s Members. These recordings can either be held within the library or made available electronically via secure single sign on.  The licence also enables access to online or on-demand broadcasts for educational use.

In practice, at the University of Northampton we implement this via Box of Broadcasts (BoB) which is a service delivered by Learning on Screen, from the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council (BUFVC). It is only available to UK HE/FE educational institutions that are members of the Learning on Screen and who are holders of a valid ERA Licence.  The BoB online platform enables University of Northampton staff to select, record, store, make playlists and create clips of broadcast material.  This is delivered securely to staff and students via the University single sign-on. 

You can find full information about the ERA Licence covers via their website and via the ERA frequently asked questions, but amongst other things, the licence covers:

  • Showing clips or copies of whole programmes from ERA Members’ output for educational purposes (this includes films).
  • Using clips from ERA broadcasters’ websites and catch-up services (these don't have to be on BoB, but they do have to be from an ERA Member broadcaster).
  • Share programmes or clips on VLEs and embed clips in presentations.
  • Students can access ERA licensed material over a secure network on or off-site in the UK.

Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) Education Establishment Licence

The NLA Education Establishment Licence and the Corporate Website Republishing Licence Extension, provide UoN staff with the permission to copy and reuse print and digital news content:

  • Make copies from UK national newspapers plus 5 regional titles
  • Upload and store copies of news articles on a VLE or intranet
  • Email copies to students and staff
  • Publish news articles, including headlines, text extracts and PDFs to the UoN website and social media.


This information is for general guidance and background information only and does not constitute legal advice. The University of Northampton does not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of relying on information contained on this website. 


Much of this content has been adapted and reproduced from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Open Government Licence v.3.0. Where content has been derived in this manner, it has been attributed as follows:

© Crown Copyright.

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