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Copying Crown and Parliamentary copyright materials

What are Crown and Parliamentary copyright?

Crown copyright applies to all copyright works produced by employees of the Crown in the course of their duties, e.g. Acts of Parliament, Codes of Practice, Government Circulars etc.  Crown copyright also applies to works produced by Parliament before 1st August 1989.

Parliamentary applies to all copyright works produced by or under the direction or control of Parliament, e.g. Hansard (Lords and Commons), Bills, White and Green Papers, reports of Select Committees etc.  It subsists only in works produced after 1st August 1989: works produced before that date are Crown copyright.

Both are administered by Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).

How long do they last?

Crown copyright in published works lasts until 50 years from the end of the year in which the work was made.  In unpublished works, copyright protection lasts for 125 years from the end of the year in which the work was made or until 31st December 2039 (whichever is the longer).

Parliamentary copyright lasts until 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.

What may be copied?

There are a number of ways in which Crown and Parliamentary copyright material may be copied and/or used by staff and students of Staffordshire University.  

  • For some materials, a waiver of copyright has been granted by OPSI and for others, it has issued specific guidance.
  • The University has a Click-Use Licence for copying and use of a wide range of Crown copyright material.
    Material can be included in course packs under the CLA Licence.
  • It can be copied under all the usual legal permissions and exceptions, e.g. fair dealing, examinations.  

For more information, visit the following external websites:

Waived Crown and Parliamentary copyright material

In the case of the following materials, copyright has been waived by OPSI.

Crown Copyright

  • Acts and explanatory notes of UK Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • Statutory Instruments, including those of the Welsh Assembly and Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
  • Measures of the General Synod of the Church of England.
  • Government press releases  

Parliamentary copyright:

  • Bills and their explanatory notes.  

When using waived material, you must observe the following conditions.

  • Reproduce it accurately, not in a misleading context and not to advertise.
  • For a single item of Crown copyright material, add: [Title of publication] is reproduced under the terms of Crown Copyright Policy Guidance issued by HMSO
  • For a range of Crown copyright material, add: Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
  • For Parliamentary copyright material, add: The text of [this Bill / the Explanatory Notes] and the typographical arrangement are Parliamentary Copyright.
  • Reproduce it only from an official version, i.e. an OPSI publication or an official website
  • Remove all publisher imprints, e.g. ISBN, from the reproduced material.
  • Use only the most up to date version of the material available. If you wish to use an older version, indicate clearly that this is the case and make appropriate cross-references to the current version.
  • The Royal Arms may only be reproduced if they form an integral part of the material and are used in that context, e.g. you are copying a whole Act.  Otherwise, remove the Royal Arms or obtain permission from HMSO to include them.
  • The Chained Portcullis symbol on Parliamentary copyright material must be removed from all reproductions, unless permission to include it has been obtained.  

Provided that you observe these conditions, there are no restrictions as to how the material can be copied and used.  You can for example, scan it and include it on a website, in a VLE or make multiple photocopies and distribute them to students.

For more information, visit the following external website: Use of information previously covered by the crown copyright waiver  

Other Parliamentary copyright material

Some other Parliamentary copyright material can be photocopied without prior permission from HMSO.  These include: Lords and Commons Hansard, Command papers and Reports of Select Committees of both Houses.  

You may provide each student with a copy of the whole or part of one of these works.

This specific permission does not extend to reproducing this material in any other way, e.g. you could not include it in a VLE or on a website without prior permission from OPSI.

For more information, visit: OPSI Copyright Guidance

Copying Crown copyright information under the Core Click-Use Licence

Staffordshire University holds a Core Click – Use Licence from OPSI which permits the copying and use of a wide range of material not covered by the guidance outlined above.  This licence relates to core government information that is central to the process of government.  It does not cover computer programs, software, personal identity documents and Value AdStaffordshire University holds a Core Click – Use Licence from OPSI which permits the copying and use of a wide range of material not covered by the guidance outlined above.  This licence relates to core government information that is central to the process of government.  It does not cover computer programs, software, personal identity documents and Value Added products and services which have been developed by government, such as maps and mapping data.  It also does not cover material published by departments which have Trading Fund Status, e.g. Companies House, Forensic Science Service, Ordnance Survey.

For more information on what is and is not included in this licence and a list of Trading Fund Status departments, visit: OPSI Click-Use Licences

What does the Core Click-Use Licence permit?

There are no restrictions as to how the material covered by this licence can be copied and used.  You can, for example, scan it and include it on a website, in a VLE or make multiple photocopies and distribute them to students.  You must, though, observe the following conditions.

  • Reproduce it accurately, not in a misleading context and not to advertise.
  • Reproduce it accurately from the current official version, i.e. an OPSI publication or an official website.  
  • Clearly identify the source of the material and add: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. 
  • Do not reproduce official imprints, departmental logos or badges, insignia etc.  The Royal Arms may only be reproduced if they form an integral part of the material and are used in that context.  

DownloadOPSI Licence to Reproduce Public Sector Information (PDF)

Copying from Government websites

Most government websites feature a statement saying how the information on the page may be used.  If no statement appears, the material (excluding the Royal Arms and departmental logos) may be reproduced freely provided it is done accurately and not misleadingly.  Material on government websites may also be copied and used under the waivers and the Core Click-Use Licence described above.

If you need to copy and use any material not covered by the various waivers, permissions and licences outlined here and on the OPSI web pages, you will need to ask OPSI for permission.

For more information, visit:

Copying Ordnance Survey (OS) and Ordnance Survey-based mapping

Staffordshire University holds an OS Educational copyright licence. This licence permits the copying and use of OS and OS-based mapping for the educational, research or teaching purposes of the University. You may:

  • copy maps, 
  • use digital mapping
  • show up to ten 200 cm² bitmap images on the University web site, 
  • copy mapping as a location map in a prospectus or brochure. 

Every copy must carry an acknowledgement in a specified format. For information on this and on any other aspects of this Licence, please contact: