Permission to re-use material

You will normally need permission from us if you want to re-use material — for example, in a publication, product, or presentation. From 18 July 2015 the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (PSI Regulations) inform how we enable re-use.

Copying, transforming, adapting, or otherwise going beyond simply viewing or reading material means that you are re-using it. You will often need permission to re-use material, depending on the material and your intended purpose.


What is 're-use'?

'Re-using' material means doing something beyond simply reading, viewing, listening to, or watching it. Some examples of 're-use' are:

  • Including material in presentations, shows, lectures, or exhibitions
  • Publishing material in books, articles, artworks, films, or broadcasts
  • Adapting or repurposing material
  • Posting or distributing material online, for example on social media
  • Using material on or for goods, services, or advertising.


Do I need permission?

You need to get permission before re-using material, unless:

  • We have assigned a Creative Commons licence to the particular item in the form and format that you require, and
  • Your intended re-use is within the terms of that licence.

For example, you need to get permission from us if:

  • Your intended re-use does not fit within the terms of the Creative Commons licence we have attached to the item
  • There is no Creative Commons licence attached to the item
  • You want to re-use material in a different form or format from those available to you or from those with a Creative Commons licence — for example, if you need higher quality images
  • You want to re-use material that we have supplied you with a copy of, for example through our Imaging Services (copies that we supply are only for personal, private use)
  • You want to re-use material that you do not yet have access to or a copy of.

We often distinguish between commercial and non-commercial re-use. For details see our commercial re-use guidance on our 'Permission fees' page.


How do I get permission?

To get permission to re-use material you need to:

  • Complete a Content licence agreement:
    • You can do this yourself and return your agreement to or by post, or
    • You can get in touch about the material you want to re-use and we can help you with the agreement
  • Obtain written permission from any third party rights holders where applicable
  • Pay any relevant permission and reprographic fees — see the 'Permission fees' page for details.

Please note that not all material is available for re-use. Permission is not granted until we have counter-signed your Content licence and any relevant fees have been paid.

Points to remember

When seeking permission please remember:

  • Permission and terms of re-use must be agreed with us — by completing a Content Licence you have not obtained permission from us, we must agree to grant you permission and this permission is only valid when both parties sign a completed Content licence
  • If you do not already have a copy of the material that you want to re-use you should contact us to check whether you will be able to get a copy that meets your needs. Remember that there will be reprographic charges if material needs to be copied or you need a different form, size, or format
  • If there are any third party rights in the material, including copyright, you are responsible for obtaining permission from the rights holders. You may be asked to provide written evidence that you have a rights holder's permission
  • We may not permit re-use of certain materials or certain re-uses. If we do not allow materials to be re-used we do so within the terms of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 — see our PSI information page for details. We may refuse permission due to the physical condition of the material, copyright or data protection restrictions, or where material has deposit conditions that restrict re-use
  • Certain re-uses require the payment of fees before permission can be granted – see our 'Permission fees' page for details
  • We have obligations under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 to provide re-usable material in a fair and transparent manner. We are required to publish certain details about how we enable re-use and the redress mechanisms available to you if you are dissatisfied. See our PSI information page for details.

Our conditions for re-use

We allow re-use through licences and, depending on the material and the purpose, the payment of fees. We apply conditions in line with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (PSI Regulations). Our conditions for re-use are detailed on the PSI information page.


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