Copyright Licenses: ERA? CLA?

era.pngIt’s important to have a running knowledge of copyright and what we are allowed to do within the HE sector, not least  because you may well find you can do more than you think.

We’re not able to deal with the entire subject here in five minutes, but we’d like to bring to your attention some useful tools to help you ascertain if you are free to use content. We’ll also offer you an explanation of ERA and CLA licenses, and how they relates to your use of media within the University.

What is an ERA licence and why is it useful for me to know that ARU has one?

The ERA is the Educational Recording Agency. In their own words:

‘Most educational establishments within the United Kingdom hold an ERA Licence either paid for centrally through agreements with the Government or Local Authorities or are licensed on an individual basis by ERA or through an aggregator

‘The ERA Licence allows you to copy broadcast material to use as part of a lesson.  It also allows the use of certain on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, All4, ITV Player, My5, and S4C (On Demand). Holding an ERA license means that an institution can not only copy but also retain broadcast material. It allows institutions to build up libraries with valuable resources to be used when teaching.

Please visit our case studies page for ideas about how to get the best use out of broadcast material.’ Educational Recording Agency

We think you might find their FAQs interesting and useful.

Our ERA license allows us all – teaching, non-teaching staff, AND students – to use the Box of Broadcasts (BoB). We will talk about BoB at some point in a future post. Suffice to say, it’s a video-streaming service that gives you access to over a million TV programmes, films and radio programmes. Why not log in (using your staff username) and have a look around?

What is CLA and what can they offer me?

The CLA is the Copyright Licensing Agency. In their own words:

‘The CLA Higher Education Licence provides annual blanket permission to photocopy and scan from millions of books, journals and magazines and from a range of digital material such as e-books and some websites.

Millions of titles are included and we have signed up the rights from thousands of writers and publishers into one package giving you access for one annual fee – removing the complexity, time and cost you would otherwise have to endure.’ Copyright Licensing Agency


Go to the CLA tool and search for something, and let us know what it is, and what you were permitted or not do with it.  If you haven’t come across this before, we think you’re going to like the tool.  To search:

  • Visit the Check permissions page on the CLA website.
  • Enter a book title/the name of a daily newspaper/something you’re interested in and click search
  • Once you have clicked search, you will notice that you can refine your results on the left of the screen. So, in the case of searching for The Guardian for example, you’d need to click ‘Newspaper’ on the left.
  • Ensure you have ‘Higher Education’ selected in the drop down box marked ‘Check permissions by
  • Once you’ve refined your results, click on ‘Show Permissions‘ which is a red rectangular box
  • Let us know what you find and what you can do with it in the comments for this blog post.

Here are some search tips if you need them.



135 thoughts on “Copyright Licenses: ERA? CLA?

  1. Catherine Foottit December 13, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    I searched for Anne of Green Gables (a childhood favourite!) For the book I could scan or photocopy.


  2. Sarah Packard December 13, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    This tool is used by the Digitisation team (based in the Library). We’d be grateful if you could make Academics aware via 5DDL that if they wish to make scanned extracts / articles available to a cohort of students, then they should make a request via the Digitisation Service ( To ensure compliance with the CLA Higher Education Licence all extracts made available to students need to be reported to the CLA. Using the Digitisation Service enables us to maintain a record of what is being made available and to whom. Thanks!


  3. maria December 14, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    I searched for the book ‘Who Speaks for the Climate?’ Digital and second extract permissions


  4. Jane Hay December 14, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    I searched on People Management. Allows photocopying, scanning and digital. Very useful search facility.


  5. Sara Donner-Langstone December 14, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    I searched for The Friday Times and got photo copying and scanning under the ‘show permission’ section.


  6. Laura December 15, 2016 / 11:25 am

    I searched for ‘practices in children’s nursing’ and it told me I was able to photocopy and scan for use in presentations and as copies for students. If a permission was not listed the publisher would need to be contacted


  7. Sarah W December 19, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    I searched for ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ – allows photocopying and scanning


  8. Nicole December 20, 2016 / 10:37 am

    I searched for the book Eat, Pray, Love. And am allowed to scan and photocopy.


  9. Sat Sehmbey December 21, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I searched for the ‘NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHY FIELD GUIDE TRAVEL’. It allows me to scan and photocopy.


  10. Philip Howlett December 29, 2016 / 7:54 am

    I searched for John Rymill’s “Southern Lights” – it allows me to photocopy and scan, and gives second extract permissions.


  11. sharonwaller2015 January 6, 2017 / 11:58 am

    I searched for J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Wendy – publisher Pavilion Books. It allows me to photocopy but only designated persons to scan. 2nd extract permissions are not allowed for this title. I wonder if this is because Barrie is dead and had assigned copyright to Great Ormond’s street?


  12. Neema Trivedi-Bateman January 12, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    I searched for ‘Breaking Rules’ – a Criminology book that is relevant to my own research. I can photocopy and scan.


  13. karen January 20, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I searched The Gruffalo and permissions for HE is photocopying, scanning and second extract permissions


  14. Natalie January 26, 2017 / 9:22 am

    I searched for my favourite sport of roller derby and refined it to books. The permissions for Higher Education for one books is photocopying, scanning and second extract permissions.


  15. Natalie Willis January 27, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    I searched for “Vogue” magazine and returned the following guidance:

    Staff, students and visiting academics may:

    Photocopy extracts from paper originals
    Copy onto acetate
    Send by fax
    Send copies to overseas students, who may not make further copies under the licence


  16. Lisa Clark February 1, 2017 / 10:21 am

    I searched the CIPD and it allowed photocopying and scanning


  17. Theresa Crawforth February 1, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    I searched for The Essex Serpent, which has photocopying and scanning permissions.


  18. Amanda February 7, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I searched for ‘Being Mortal’ by Atul Gwande which was really useful.


  19. Susan Ludlow February 7, 2017 / 11:59 am

    1. STATUS
    ISBN:9780335153695Publication Type:BookPublication Form:PrintPublisher:Open International Publishing LimitedCountry of Publication:United Kingdom of Great Britain & N. Ireland
    Check Permissions by: Business Further Education Higher Education Law Extended Multinational Pharmaceutical Public Sector Schools Extended Pharmaceutical Multinational Media Monitoring Multinational Pharmaceutical Multinational Business

    View licence usage:

    Subject to defined extent limits, this title is covered by your CLA licence for the following uses:

    •Photocopy extracts from paper originals and share with colleagues
    •Fax to colleagues
    •Supply copies for regulatory and technical submissions in the UK
    •Outsource photocopying

    This text is intended for use as guidance only and not as a substitute for the CLA Licence Terms themselves, which should be read in full. In the event of conflict between the two, the Licence shall prevail.

    For permissions not listed above, please contact the publisher direct.

    Susan Ludlow


  20. Kirstie Smith February 7, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    I searched for New Scientist magazine – allows photocopying and scanning


  21. Sarah Allen February 8, 2017 / 9:48 am

    I looked up a chapter in the book “Housing, Space and Quality of Life” and found that it allows for photocopying, scanning and second extract permissions.


  22. Diane February 9, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    photocopy and scan


  23. Iain Brett February 13, 2017 / 9:37 am

    “Library Bulletin” journal – allowed photocopying and scanning “subject to defined extent limits”.


  24. markellisangliaruskin March 3, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I searched New Scientist. We’re allowed to Photocopy and Scan, but can’t don’t have Second Extract Permissions.


  25. Rebecca Lee March 5, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I searched for the Museums Journal from the Museums Association and found that the permission check, for Higher Education, showed that the resource can be printed, stored, emailed and copied but does not offer second extract permissions.


  26. edgar March 8, 2017 / 1:09 am

    I searched on Project Management. There allows photocopying and scaning.


  27. Rachael March 8, 2017 / 9:35 am

    I searched The Seven Sisters book. Allows photocopying, scanning and digital by staff and students. Useful search facility.


  28. Hannah Stageman March 10, 2017 / 11:31 am

    Land Matters, by Liz Wells – photocopying, scanning and second extract permissions.


  29. Paula Langton May 17, 2017 / 8:42 am

    Archery – allows photocopying and scanning


  30. Matt McConkey May 23, 2017 / 10:45 am

    There’s also a handy guide to copyright on the library website:
    .. as well as information on the library digitization service:

    I searched Financial Times, for which the CLA licence permits (subject to defined extent limits):
    Make digital copies
    Print paper copies
    Email digital copies
    Store digital copies on a Secure Network
    Use digital copies in PowerPoint presentations
    Send digital copies to overseas students, who may print a single copy
    Other uses specific to the CLA Higher Education Licence


  31. Liz Harrison May 26, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    I searched for National Geographic (Traveller UK)
    You can photocopy extracts, send by fax, send copies to overseas students (who may not make further copies), scanning and digital copies with some further restrictions.


  32. Nermin Minter June 1, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    I searched for ‘Loving, Living and Learning, ISBN 9780285625969, it allows for photocopying, scanning and second extract permissions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s