Copyright – Going CLA Free

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licence provides blanket permissions to copy and reuse content from print and digital publications of authors and publishers who have registered with them. The annual fee for the licence can run into the tens of thousands (depending on the size of the college).

In 2016, Dundee & Angus College decided to drop their CLA licence and rely on openly available content and legal ‘exceptions’ to access copyrighted material. The move was supported by an active campaign to inform staff and students, as well as bespoke digital training resources. The College saved £35,000 in licence fees.

In 2017, Borders College and one other Scottish college took the decision to drop the CLA licence with more are set to follow. CDN hosted an event to share colleges’ experiences with the sector and to make available the following presentations for those considering the move to a CLA-free future.

CDN does not advocate a position on the CLA licence in colleges.

Going CLA Free: D&A College’s Journey: Sam Stirling, Dundee & Angus College


Dropping the CLA Licence: Jamie McIntryre, Borders College.