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The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) Agreement.

The NLA licence allows us to copy and circulate cuttings from certain newspapers (i) for distribution to staff for internal management purposes, and (ii) for distribution to students for educational and instruction purposes, subject to certain conditions.

Please see our guide for updated information on this issue

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 permits individuals to make a single copy of a "reasonable proportion" of any copyright material in a newspaper for their own private study or research for non-commercial purposes. You are advised not to copy more than a single article from any particular issue of a newspaper. The University subscribes to the NLA licence to support other uses.

Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA)

The NLA is authorised by the publishers of certain newspapers to grant permission to allow organisations to copy and circulate newspaper cuttings (i) for distribution to staff for internal management purposes, and (ii) for distribution to students for educational and instruction purposes. The maximum number of copies which may be made of any one cutting from any one newspaper for either of these purposes is 250 unless prior consent has been obtained from the NLA. The licence covers only copying (including scanning) from PRINTED newspapers; it does not permit downloading or printing from electronic versions; these are covered by separate agreements which may vary from title to title.

Permissions granted by the licence

The licence permits the following activities:

  • Copying, as part of an internal distribution service, of cuttings taken from an NLA newspaper.
  • Inclusion of photocopies of cuttings in study packs. Graphic works (including adverts, cartoons and photographs) may also be copied, provided there is no stipulation that copyright has been retained by the creator.
  • Projection of cuttings taken from those newspapers by illumination onto a screen.
  • Making of digital (scanned) cuttings from most NLA Newspapers. There are some exclusions: check the Newspaper Licensing Agency website for an up to date list.

Limitations to the licence

The following restrictions apply:

  • Copying may only take place on the licensee’s premises within the UK, or in countries where the NLA does not have a licence with a foreign collecting society.
  • Copying is only for members of the institution’s staff and its students.
  • No alterations may be made to the size or layout of cuttings copied beyond what is reasonably required for educational purposes.
  • Copies may not be made for external, promotional or marketing purposes.
  • Digital clippings may not be archived for more than 7 days.


Each copy or collation of copies made either as part of the clippings service or for students must include the notice: “NLA licensed copy. No further copies may be made except under licence”.

Newspapers covered by the licence

An up-to-date list of national newspapers covered by the licensing scheme can be found on the Newspaper Licensing Agency website. The University also has a licence extension covering a number of regional and local papers. Please contact the Library for further information. Multiple copying from newspapers not listed is not covered by the NLA licence or by fair dealing and permission must be sought from the publisher before such copying takes place. Please note that the NLA licence does NOT cover the Times Supplements (THES, TES, TLS etc).

Electronic Copying

The University has an extension to the main licence which allows cuttings from most NLA newspapers to be scanned and distributed electronically for management purposes. Such cuttings must be permanently deleted from digital systems within 7 days of scanning. The licence does not currently permit the digitisation of cuttings for inclusion in electronic study packs or mounting on the VLE.

Visually Impaired Persons

Under the terms of the Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002, individual copies of articles may be made in an alternative format for visually impaired users, provided an equivalent accessible copy is not already available commercially. The accessible copy must contain “sufficient acknowledgement” of its source, such as title, date and page number.