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CLA Copyright Essentials Series: The philosophy of Copy, Right

The Copyright Licensing Agency has launched an interactive online guide to help college staff understand copyright. In the first article of this series, CLA’s Tim Cooper explains how CLA supports the creative industries, the FE sector, and the philosophy of Copy, Right.

This CLA series supports the launch of the Copyright Essentials training guide, which you can access here.

What does CLA do?

CLA, a UK Government-regulated not-for-profit, licenses organisations to responsibly use, copy, and share text and image-based content owned by authors, publishers, and visual artists. Revenues are distributed back to owners, ensuring fair compensation for rights holders and support for the UK’s creative economy.

Why is CLA’s work important?

CLA and its work is important in several ways. We sit in the middle of UK’s creative eco-system providing value to our customers and the rightsholders.

By monetising the rights in the form of a licence we are able to redistribute income back to rightsholders, ensuring they can afford and are incentivised to continue creating quality content. In CLA’s 40 years it has delivered over £1.5bn back into the creative industries.

A CLA Licence provides blanket permission, protecting you from the risk of legal action for copyright infringement when copying from books, journals, magazines, or websites. Our licences and tools give you the coverage and flexibility you need to share content within your college.

CLA has been around since 1983, what’s changed?

CLA has changed in so many ways over the years, from launching new licences for more sectors to embracing digital opportunities and providing our customers with the tools they need to get great value from their CLA licence.

This includes the Education Platform which gives access to tens of thousands of quality digital versions of texts. Facilitating quick discovery and sharing of content to help educators enhance their resources.

What is the Copy, Right philosophy?

For CLA Copy, Right is more than a tagline – it is a guiding light, a rallying call. We believe that organisations should behave responsibly. Creativity enriches society so it is of societal importance for organisations to respect copyright, and weave compliance into their ESG frameworks.

By working with CLA your college is helping us channel monies back to the creators and rightsholders, enabling them to create more quality works.

Act responsibly. Protect your organisation. Support creatives. Copy, Right.

How is CLA supporting FE?

In the past year we’ve launched a series of initiatives to support FE practitioners in creativity, copyright and Intellectual Property (IP).

We’re proud sponsor of the AoC Creative Writing Project, which amplifies the learner voice through the written word. 

Spring 2023 saw our inaugural FE InPractice CPD event.  This was an opportunity for FE practitioners to reflect on best practices, hurdles and solutions regarding copyright and IP. 

There’s also opportunities for FE practitioners to attend the annual CILIP conference via CLA’s bursary place.  Moving forward, we’re dedicated to funding access to bursaries, and thrilled that we can empower current and future leaders in the sector by unlocking this professional development.

Copyright Essentials is an interactive guide for educators and college staff and is designed to help you navigate the copyright landscape.  It’s rooted in real-life scenarios, designed to be bite-size and accessible, and will help users understand the key aspects of responsible content re-use. It’s receiving very positive feedback from the FE sector, testament to its practical and engaging style.

What’s next for CLA?

CLA turns 40 this year, and we’re looking forward to a celebration which, as per one of our company values, connects creative communities.  Many stakeholders make CLA a success, from the diligent customers who purchase the licence, to the authors, publishers and visual artists whose work the licence covers.  We’re passionate about supporting creativity, but also finding solutions for users of content, and our anniversary event will typify that connection and communication.

Longer term, CLA is exploring AI and its intersection with content creation and copyright. We’re working with key stakeholders to ensure opportunities are maximised whilst protecting the creative industries for the future.

By Tim Cooper, Head of Marketing at CLA

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