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Copyright explained


A copyright holder may decide that their work can be used in certain ways. In these cases, they will publish their work under a specific licence.

There are many different types of licence, so you should carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure you understand how you can use the material.

You will probably be expected to include a credit line that states the source of the content and the licence through which it is provided. Check the wording carefully.

Creative Commons (CC) licences

Creative Commons (CC) offer several different licences that allow copyright holders to make their work available for reuse.

There are six licences to choose from and each has their own terms and conditions which specify how material can be used, credited and distributed.

Creative Commons licences are used often on the internet and may be identified either with the name of the licence, its abbreviation, or a logo.

Public-sector information licences

Official government and public sector publications may be reproduced and adapted under the Open Government Licence.

Under the licence you may:

  • copy, publish and distribute the material
  • adapt the material
  • use the material for commercial purposes.

You must acknowledge the source and where possible provide a link to the licence.

When using public-sector information, it is your responsibility to check the terms of the licence (PDF) and whether there are any exemptions.