The rules regarding copyright and knowing what you can legally copy can be confusing. Questions about copyright might arise when considering whether a journal club can print multiple copies of an article for members? Whether staff are allowed to distribute printed or digital copies of articles to other colleagues? How much of a book are you legally allowed to photocopy?
The CLA Licence for NHS staff in England is the licence that provides the terms for what NHS staff are allowed to photocopy, scan and share from most copyrighted print and digital works.
What is covered by the licence?
The licence allows individuals to make copies from almost everything which has been purchased, subscribed or donated to the NHS in England. There are a small number of excluded works, if you’re unsure if a work is covered by the licence then the best way to check is via the CLA’s Check Permissions tool https://www.cla.co.uk/index.php/nhs-england-licence
Who is covered by the licence?
The licence covers all staff working for or contracted by the NHS including primary and acute care staff, public health staff employed by local authorities, those working for DHSC arms’-lengths bodies and special health authorities, and those providing NHS-commissioned care such as Hospice staff. The licence also covers HEI students and staff who are on temporary or permanent placements with the NHS in England.
What can be copied under the licence?
- 2 articles from a single journal issue or several articles from an issue if it is dedicated to a particular theme.
- 1 chapter or 5% of a book (whichever is the greatest)
- There are no restrictions on how many copies you can make, and you can make copies of copies too.
- Digital copies can be stored – but they must be kept on your own PC or a secure network which you may share with colleagues.
- Only single paper copies can be made for patients or carers
What can I share?
You may share print or digital copies with work colleagues covered by the licence including via email.
What else do I need to know?
You are obligated to protect the rights of copyright owners, to always copy within the limits of the licence and to always acknowledge sources of information when writing.
More information about copyright can be found at the Copyright Licencing Agency website
A poster is also available for staff to display next to photocopiers.
Or if you have any questions regarding the copying and sharing of copyrighted works for NHS staff please contact the NHS Liaison Team firstname.lastname@example.org