How copyright applies

Copyright applies to parliamentary papers and must be indicated on a paper’s title verso page (page 2). Placing the statement on the title verso page is standard publishing industry practice.

The National Archives publishes guidance on the appropriate copyright and re-use statements to include in parliamentary papers and in other government publications. The statements allow for the owner of the copyright and the year that the paper is first published to be clearly identified and give the terms under which the content can be used by others.

Crown copyright

Most documents and website content produced by civil servants will be subject to Crown copyright.

If a government organisation has commissioned a third party to author a document, for example an independent review or research, it should ensure that the copyright in the work is assigned to the Crown. To this document the government organisation should add the appropriate copyright and re-use statement.

Further information relating to commissioning agreements and copyright is available in Publishing: a guide for government organisations (PDF, 0.22MB).

Using the appropriate statement allows the re-use of government information, both Crown and non-Crown, through the Open Government Licence.

Copyright and Parliamentary Papers produced by non-Crown bodies

Organisations which own their own copyright are encouraged to make their information available for use and re-use with the minimum of obstacles.  This will contribute to greater transparency and openness and ensure that important documents are disseminated to as wide an audience as possible.  One of the easy ways in which this can be achieved is by referencing the Open Government Licence in the copyright statement.

Copyright statements for both Crown and non-Crown bodies can be found in Copyright statements in official publications.

You can find further information about the Open Government Licence on our website.

Publishing: a guide for government organisations (PDF, 0.22MB)

What should a title page, a title verso page and a back cover look like?

Click on each image to see an example of a title page (p1), a title verso page (p2) and a back cover.

An example of a title page (p1)An example of a title verso page (p2)An example of a back cover