CLA licensing temporarily relaxed to support the education sector during closures

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), the body which collects two thirds of ALCS’ income for writers and which licenses the use of works in schools and Higher Education establishments, has temporarily relaxed the terms of its licences in these sectors to provide increased access to learning resources and much-needed support for students working remotely at this difficult time

The existing licensing framework, which allows access to published works while ensuring writers receive fair remuneration for such access via their ALCS payments, is being temporarily enhanced to assist with the remote learning challenges that schools and Higher Education establishments are currently facing.

We know that writers play a pivotal role in the education system and that many are also suffering financially as a result of the current health crisis, so it was essential to find a temporary solution to facilitate distance learning while also ensuring that writers were not disadvantaged in the long term.

We also know how important ALCS payments are to members, so our main priority in the negotiations for this change was to ensure that they were not jeopardised.

How have the licence terms been relaxed?


  • Schools are now able to copy up to 30% (increased from 5%) of a print book, including scanning book content held on the school virtual learning environment (VLE).
  • Schools can now copy from books owned personally by teachers in addition to school-owned books, up to the 30% limit.

Higher Education

  • Higher Education institutions can now copy up to 30% (increased from 10%) of a print book, or three chapters, whichever is the greater. This applies to books published by participating publishers listed on the CLA website.
  • Higher Education establishments do not have to own an original; they can take advantage of any extract held in the Digital Content Store (DCS) or where the original is owned by an academic.

These changes will only be in place until 31 July (schools) and 30 June (Higher Education institutions) respectively. After this time, the terms of the licence will revert to normal practice.

For further information about the licensing carried out by CLA visit