Houses of Parliament: Copyright

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Spokesperson for Women and Equality

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the public interest justification for parliamentary copyright.

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the provisions on parliamentary copyright in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in the light of the practice in other common law parliamentary democracies.

Photo of Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Baroness Royall of Blaisdon President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office)

Works produced by or under the direction or control of either House of Parliament qualify for copyright protection as parliamentary copyright by virtue of Section 165 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The expression also includes copyright in Bills before Parliament, by virtue of Section 166. Before 1988, such material was covered by Crown copyright.

The licensing of parliamentary copyright material is managed on behalf of the two Houses by the Office of Public Sector Information under the terms of a service level agreement. It may be reproduced without charge under the terms of a click-use licence, which can be found online at

It is for the authorities of the two Houses to comment on the detailed conditions governing the use of parliamentary copyright material.

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