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Higher Education Licence

Give students the tools they need to excel. The Higher Education Licence allows colleges and universities to provide access to a wide array of crucial and compelling resources.

About the licence

The ICLA HE Licence is intended to broaden and enrich the student learning experience, by allowing HEIs to provide wider access to copyright materials than would otherwise be legally possible. It enables the institutions to avoid copyright infringement. In parallel, it enables publishers, authors and visual artists to be remunerated appropriately for the use of their works.

To reflect the provisions of the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act of 2019, ICLA has developed a new Higher Education Licence for universities and colleges. The Licence authorises the use for educational purposes of works protected by copyright. It has been certified for the purpose of the legislation by the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, under Statutory Instrument No. 277 of 2020.

As universities face a long-term move to a mix of campus and distance learning, the new ICLA Licence enables the creation and distribution of digital and printed materials for students based on copyright works that are available to your Higher Education Institution (HEI).

The new licence provides enhanced support for blended learning and a streamlined approach to content. Higher Education Institutions holding the licence can, subject to the terms and conditions, copy and reuse extracts of text and still images from printed books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and from digital publications, including e-books, journals and digital resources.

They can also use website content and other materials available on the internet, unless specifically restricted by the terms on which the content is made available on the internet, or by the licence terms.

This means HEI staff and visiting academics can:

  • make digital and print copies from digital and print books, periodicals and newspapers.
  • make digital and print copies of text and still images from websites and other sources legitimately available on the internet.
  • copy and distribute/make available up to 10% OR one chapter, one article, one short story or poem from an anthology – whichever is greater – per course of study.
  • copy and distribute/make available the equivalent amount from a digital/online publication organised in a non-traditional manner.
  • distribute digital copies to all students on a specific course of study by email or via a secure virtual learning environment (VLE) no matter where the student is; students may store copies to view at a future time.
  • store copies for the current academic year in a digital content store on a course-specific basis.
  • use copies with digital whiteboards and presentation software programmes.
  • Books (print and digital)
  • Journals and periodicals (print and digital)
  • Magazines (print and digital)
  • Newspapers published in Ireland and the UK (print and digital)
  • Websites and other sources legitimately available to your HEI on the internet

The works copied must be lawfully owned, held or accessed by the HEI and must not be infringing copies.

  • Maps and charts
  • Assignment sheets
  • Printed music (including the words)
  • Some ‘open access’ publications
  • Copyright-free publications
  • Copyright-fee paid copies (the making of copies is included in the price of the original)
  • 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 insofar as copyright educational exceptions (which are more restrictive than the ICLA licence) allow and otherwise only with explicit permission from the rightsholder.

NB: The licence doesn’t prevent an HEI from securing direct permission to copy/re-use from the publisher (ad hoc or via a primary licence). An HEI might, for example, want to purchase permission to copy in excess of 10% of a publication, or to copy from a publication that isn’t covered by the licence.

Open Access

Some of the publications that your HEI might wish to distribute to students and colleagues are made available under Open Access or Creative Commons licences. These licences have variable terms, with some allowing all educational uses and others being 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. In some instances, however, Open Access publications are ‘open’ purely for reading and not for copying, so it is important to check the wording.

The Enhanced Higher Education Supply Service (EHESS)

A ‘copyright fee paid copy’ of an article or book chapter is one that can be copied under the ICLA Licence, or equivalent, in the same way an original publication can. The British Library’s EHESS is a means of purchasing Copyright Fee Paid (CFP) copies. It can also be used for outsourcing scanning of material a Higher Education institution owns.

Unencrypted, high quality documents with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for various uses within any institution with an ICLA Higher Education Licence can be obtained within 48 hours. It gives the HEI the opportunity to own the copy and use it under the ICLA Licence (provided it is included in the Licence and is within extent limits), which is not the case with copies received under Library Privilege or Inter Library Loans. Such uses can include uploading to the HEI’s VLE or digital learning store to support reading lists and as part of coursepacks.