CLA Licence (photocopying)

Decorative image

© Midnightblueowl, 2012. Issued under a Creative Commons licence (

Loughborough University holds a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence which allows students and members of staff to photocopy extracts from printed documents, such as books and journals. It allows several copies of the same material to be made at the same time for the same purpose: this is crucial when students on the same course of study all want copies of the same material.

All of the university’s photocopiers and MFD units should display a current ‘Notice for display’ outlining the copying extent limits permitted by the licence.  If this notice is missing from a photocopier then please print it out and display it near to the unit.

The law allows you to photocopy outside the limits imposed by this Licence, but only to make single copies for your own research or private study.  If you are copying something, and someone else at the University is or is likely to be making a copy of substantially the same thing for substantially the same purpose, then this provision of the law does not apply (for instance, if you are photocopying something from a book which other students on the same course of study as you are likely to be using).  Where this provision does not apply, you must photocopy according to the terms of the CLA HE Licence (from now on simply ‘the Licence’).

What follows is a summary of how students and members of staff should photocopy within the terms of the Licence User Guidelines.  If the summary below in any way differs from or contradicts the Licence User Guidelines, the Licence shall prevail.

  1. Document ownership.
  2. Type of document.
  3. Specific opt-outs.
  4. Number of photocopies.
  5. Extent of photcopying.
  6. Course packs.
  7. Non-print resources.

1. Document ownership.  The printed document that you want to photocopy must be owned by Loughborough University in order to fall within the scope of the Licence.  In practice this means the University Library must hold it.  You can find out whether the University Library holds a particular document using Library Catalogue Plus.

2. Type of document.  You may not copy the following kinds of document under the Licence:

  • printed music (including the words);
  • maps, charts or books of tables;
  • texts of public examination papers;
  • workbooks, work cards and assignment sheets;
  • privately owned documents issued for tuition purposes and limited to fee-paying customers;
  • newspapers (these are covered by the NLA Licence.)
  • industrial in-house journals and other free publications primarily intended for the employees of commercial businesses, industrial undertakings or public services;
  • any work whose copyright owner has expressly and prominently stipulated that it may not be copied under this Licence;
  • material that has not been published, including theses and archival materials.

3. Specific opt-outs.  Some publishers and authors have opted out of the Licence; also, the Licence does not cover publications from some foreign countries.  You can find out whether or not your document is included within the licence by using the CLA’s ISBN checker at this link.

4. Number of photocopies.  The point of the Licence is to allow each of several students to have one copy of the same thing.  This means either:

  1. each of them may make his/her own single photocopy, or
  2. a member of staff may make several photocopies of the same thing and distribute one photocopy to each student.

5. Extent of photocopying.  You may photocopy up to:

  • one chapter from a book;
  • one article from one issue of a journal;
  • one paper from a collection of conference papers;
  • one short story, poem or play of no more than 10 pages in length from an anthology;

or up to 10% of a book, journal issue, volume of conference proceedings or anthology, whichever is the greater. Publications do not have to be owned by the library but could be personal copies or inter library loans.

6. Course packs.  The Licence allows members of staff at the University to create ‘course packs’ for students enrolled on particular courses of study (one pack for each student). Course packs consist of photocopies of extracts of printed documents relevant to the course of study in question (the extent of each extract being as above). Course packs should not be made in such a way as to replace textbooks or other published documents intended to support teaching and learning in particular subject-areas (so-called ‘textbook substitution’). For instance, in making a course pack on basic economics, it would be bad practice to include a chapter from textbook A on supply and demand, a chapter from textbook B on labour, a chapter from textbook C on capital and a chapter from textbook D on money. Doing this would not exceed the limits on extent of photocopying, but it could make it unnecessary for students to buy textbooks of their own – the University would effectively be manufacturing free textbooks for its students using other people’s work.

PDF file:

The CLA’s Good practice guide in the creation of course packs is available to download as a PDF:


Creative and Print Services can make course packs for you, but it is still your responsibility to ensure that what you are having copied does not exceed what is allowed by the Licence.

7. Non-print resources.  The Licence primarily covers the copying of printed documents.  It does not cover the copying of e-resources (e.g. databases, e-journals and e-books) to which the University subscribes. All of these e-resources have terms and conditions of their own. Click on the link for more information about the University’s e-resources.

For more information please contact the University Copyright Advisors:


Ring: 01509 222399 (Monday-Wednesday) or 01509 222351 (Wednesday-Friday)

Updated by C. Greasley, 28th August 2019

 3,815 total views,  1 views today