Your rights

Licence exceptions

We will grant appropriate licences wherever possible but please note that we may refuse a licence in certain circumstances, including the following:

We may refuse to grant certain applications if your request to reproduce The National Archives’ material falls outside our standard non-exclusive licensing terms and conditions. If we reject your application we will explain why, try to offer another solution, and work with you to revise your application.

We will refuse a licence if you apply to become a National Archives Licensed Internet Associate (LIA) but fail to meet The National Archives’ LIA programme selection criteria.

We may be unable to grant a licence if certain content is protected by the intellectual property rights of a third party and that party has not given you their permission.

We may refuse a licence if you: have previously copied Crown copyright material without permission and this matter remains unresolved; or do not have enough creditworthiness (according to our checks with credit reference agencies) to pay any licence fees and are not willing to offer another method of payment (for example, a bank guarantee, payment in advance etc).

We will not grant a licence where we consider the use of our material to be inappropriate. For example: where the intended use of The National Archives material is likely to bring The National Archives into disrepute; or is deemed to infringe acceptable standards of taste and decency; or is not in keeping with (or misrepresents) the integrity of the original material.

We will refuse a licence if you have acquired The National Archives’ material through an illegitimate source. For example, pirate copies that infringe our or third party copyright.

We will not enter into exclusive licensing arrangements with customers.

We may refuse to allow you to reproduce material that concerns public security, defence, state security (including national economic well-being), confidential information, legal proceedings.


If you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your application for a licence, please contact

If you are still dissatisfied, our Complaints procedure gives further information about complaints under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.