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General Commercial Licence

If you and others in your organisation share and reuse published content as part of your work, then Ireland’s Copyright legislation requires you to get permission from the copyright holder to do so. The simplest way to achieve this is with a collective ‘blanket’ licence with clear, consistent rules, so that you can focus on your work and pay a fixed fee just once a year. That makes it easy to share and reuse the content you need and easy to budget. Here’s what you need to know.

About the licence

Think about your organisation. Does anyone:

  • Share articles from digital and print magazines, learned journals and books with colleagues by email, or by posting these on your organisation’s intranet?
  • Include extracts of published content from magazines, journals and books in internal reports, strategy documents, position papers and more?
  • Include extracts of published content in presentations to colleagues?
  • Include visual material (photos and illustrations) from digital and print magazines, journals and books in presentations and reports to colleagues?

If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, then you need to have a licence to ensure your organisation is not breaking the law and that the people who created the material you may be reusing are properly compensated.

If anyone in your organisation is copying and sharing print or digital/online content with their colleagues for work purposes, then having an ICLA Licence – and implementing its clear rules – will indemnify your staff to copy from its full range of publications and resources. This ensures your organisation is copyright-compliant.

ICLA offers a General Commercial Licence for businesses and administration. The licence provides annual blanket cover to copy and reuse content from print and digital publications, so you don’t have to seek permission from copyright owners each time you copy.

  • Staff in organisations with the Licence can copy up to 5% or 1 article or 1 law report from a single issue, or 1 chapter from a book.
  • Illustrations from magazines, journals and books can be disembedded and included in presentations and internal reports.
  • No copying of whole works.
  • No external sharing or reuse (e.g. the licence does not include using copyright content to get new clients; this requires direct permission from the publisher)
  • Occasional reporting of the content being used, so we can distribute licence fees to the right authors and publishers.
  • Books (print and digital)
  • Journals (print and digital)
  • Magazines (print and digital)
  • Websites and other legitimate sources available on the internet
  • Trade press
  • Press cuttings received from a press cuttings/media monitoring agency (print and digital)
  • Copyright fee paid copies (print and digital)
  • Reference editions (print and digital)
  • Law Reports (print and digital)

If your organisation is receiving media-monitoring content and sharing it with colleagues you need a licence from Newspaper Licensing Ireland (NLI).

If the other content you want to reuse and share with colleagues comes only from newspapers and magazines, and their related websites, an NLI licence can give you all the content that you need.

If your organisation also copies from learned journals, books/ebooks and related websites you will need an ICLA General Commercial Licence. As this includes magazines and their websites you can choose not to include those in your NLI licence – we do not want your organisation to pay twice.

  • Government publications
  • Maps and charts
  • Some ‘Open Access’ publications
  • Copyright-free publications
  • Copy-paid publications (the price of making copies is included in the original price)
  • Any work that has been specifically excluded*

*Refer to the Excluded Works List for works which are not included in the blanket licence and therefore can be reproduced only with explicit permission from the rightsholder.

Open Access

Some of the publications that an organisation might wish to distribute internally are made available under Open Access or Creative Commons licences. These licences have variable terms with some allowing all further uses and others being restricted to educational use (schools, colleges and universities) or free-to-view only. Some Open Access publications can therefore be used without reference to the ICLA licence – the authors are permitting their work to be read, copied and re-used freely, though they should always be acknowledged and their Moral Rights respected.

It’s important to read the licence terms of open access works carefully depending what you want to do, but if you have the ICLA Licence and only wish to copy 5% or less of a work there is no need to check under which licence/set or rules you can do so – you can be confident you are copyright compliant.

Note: The Licence doesn’t prevent an organisation from securing direct permission to copy/re-use from the publisher (ad hoc or via a primary licence). An organisation might, for example, want to purchase permission to copy in excess of 5% of a publication, or to copy from a publication that isn’t covered by the Licence.