How copyright applies

All parliamentary papers are covered by copyright and should include an up to date copyright statement on the title-verso page (page 2)

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 place an obligation on government organisations to make their information, including parliamentary papers, available for re-use.

To assist re-users of government information, The National Archives has produced statements for inclusion in publications, including parliamentary papers. These statements allow for the copyright owner and the year of first publication to be clearly stated, and give details of the terms under which the content can re-used. It is important that the correct copyright statement is used in your paper. If there is any doubt as to which copyright statement should be used, then please contact us.

Crown copyright

Most documents and website content produced by civil servants and Ministers are subject to Crown copyright. This means that most Command Papers and annual reports and accounts produced by central government departments are covered by 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

Many annual reports and accounts are produced by non-Crown bodies which own their own copyright. These organisations include; national museums and galleries, many NHS bodies, and other non-departmental public bodies. Organisations which own their own copyright must not use Crown copyright statements in their papers.

The National Archives has developed a best practice copyright statement which should be used in parliamentary papers produced by non-Crown bodies. Organisations may also make the content of papers available for re-use under the Open Government Licence.

Government organisations must acknowledge any third-party copyright material that is used within a parliamentary paper.

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.

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