Skip to main content

Guide to Copyright: Irish Copyright and Licensing Agency License

What is the ICLA License?

This license allows for Higher Education Institutes and specifically their teaching staff, to use licensed material to aid in their teaching to an extended but still limited degree compared to other sectors such as business. For a subscription fee institutes can provide their teaching staff the ability to share copied versions of licensed material with students to the degree stated in the license. 

Image sourced from :

What is the ICLA?

The Irish Copyright Licensing Agency (ICLA) is a licensing body under part 149 of the Copyright Act 2000, where a licensing agency is defined as a body whose main objective is the granting of licenses that allow the undertaking of action that otherwise would be prohibited under copyright law. 

The ICLA's role is to provide, for a fee, licenses to schools, business, institutions etc. to use copyrighted work in a greater way than could be done otherwise. 

What changed in the 2019 Act

The 2019 act has updated the provisions of the educational exceptions to include: 

  • That both copying and communicating the copy falls under the exceptions for education produced by the act.
  • The replacement of reproduction rather than reprographing of documents including digital forms of copying. 
  • Provisions for distance learning that allows the institution to communicate works of importance to distance students. Those students are allowed to make copies of those works. 
  • That as long as a sufficient acknowledgement is given copies can be made of works available through the internet. 

Other restrictions and Accessible copies

  • It must be noted that this only applies to material that the institute owns either through owning a copy of the item or a subscription to a database that holds the item. 
  • Under no circumstances other than the exceptions mentioned under what to copy, can a entire work be copied. 
  • None of the licensed work should end up in the hands of third parties, either by direct contact or placing it in an online repository. 
  • There should only be enough copies for each student in the course of study and two for each lecturer.
  • The ICLA also has an excluded works list that states which works do not fall under the license.   
  • The copied work must also have a sufficient citation of the work the extract is copied from. 

Accessible Copies

  • The ICLA license allows for the full copying of a work into a different form for any student who has disabilities that would affect them in studying the work e.g. visual impairment. 
  • The license allows for institutions to wholesale copying of one work into an accessible form. 
  • This can include alterations to make it easy for this person. 
  • However this comes with the caveat that this copy is only for the use of that impaired person and that there is no outside copies that have accessible options on them. 

What can you copy

10% or one chapter from a book, if it does not exceed the 10% threshold of the book as a whole. Full works, for example, full text of a book can not be taken and photocopied, this applies only to one work on one course of study. 

In the case of short stories and poems, the whole work can be copied as long as it is below 10 pages. 

However it must be noted that this only applies to material that the institute owns, either through owning a copy of the item or a subscription to a database that holds the item. 

In the case of a journal article or periodical online or offline you may copy the full text of one article but only one article from that particular issue of the journal or periodical. 

It does not apply to online/website material.

You can copy illustrations that are in an article or work you have copied using the license before without providing the text.  

Useful links

  • Check permissions of works
    Though for the British license this allows you check to see if a work falls under the ICLA license, as the works that the two licenses cover are nearly identical.
  • ICLA License
    Full text of the ICLA license.
  • List of excluded works.
    List of works that the license does not apply to.

The Library, Limerick Institute of Technology