Guidance - Reproduction of Bills and Explanatory Notes to Bills of the United Kingdom Parliament
Date: 31 October 2000
(Revised 9 May 2005)
Bills and Explanatory Notes to Bills may be reproduced freely subject only to the conditions of use set out in this guidance. This mirrors the similar freedom to reproduce UK legislation set out in Guidance Note 6.
1. The Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office administers Parliamentary copyright under a specific agreement with the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Clerk of the Parliaments.
2. This Guidance Note is the first in this series which relates to Parliamentary copyright material produced by the United Kingdom Parliament.
What is Parliamentary Copyright?
3. Parliamentary copyright was established by Chapter X of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and came into effect on 1 August 1989. Works that were published for Parliament prior to that date are Crown copyright.
4. Under Section 165 of the Act any work made by or under the direction or control of the House of Commons or the House of Lords is Parliamentary copyright. Under Section 166 copyright in every Bill introduced into Parliament belongs either to the House of Commons or to the House of Lords.
5. The legal owners of Parliamentary copyright are the Speaker of the House of Commons in respect of House of Commons material and the Clerk of the Parliaments in respect of the House of Lords material (Section 167).
Which Parliamentary copyright material is covered by this Guidance Note?
6. The policy set out in this Guidance Note applies to:
- Bills presented to either House of Parliament
- Explanatory Notes relating to such Bills.
7. When a Bill receives Royal Assent it ceases to be a Parliamentary copyright work. Under Section 164 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, Her Majesty is entitled to copyright in every Act of Parliament. Conditions relating to the reproduction of Acts of Parliament are set out in Guidance Note 6.1
8. This Guidance Note supersedes those parts of the Guidance Notes for Librarians and Guidance Notes for Publishers relating to the reproduction of Bills. The policy set out in the ’Dear Guidance Notes for Librarians and Guidance Notes for Publishers for other types of Parliamentary copyright material remains in force until replaced by further Guidance Notes.
What reproduction of Bills and Explanatory Notes is permitted?
9. Subject to paragraphs 10 to 16 below, there are no restrictions on how Bills and Explanatory Notes may be reproduced. The extent of the permitted reproduction is identical to that described in Guidance Note 6. Consequently, the illustrations of use that are set out in paragraph 10 of Guidance Note 6 also apply to Bills and Explanatory Notes; i.e. users may undertake any of the following activities:
(a) reproduction and publication in any medium;
(b) making multiple copies for distribution and sale;
(c) reproduction in any medium for the purposes of news reporting;
(d) reproduction on free and subscription websites which are accessible via the Internet;
(e) establishing hypertext links to Parliament’s website;
(f) downloading Bills and Explanatory Notes from Parliament’s website to screen and printer;
(g) reproduction on Intranet sites;
(h) making single or multiple copies, by photocopying or any other means, for the purposes of research and private study;
(i) the making of single or multiple copies by libraries (by photocopying or any other means) for the supply of copies to readers, subject to the overriding need for prescribed libraries to recoup their costs as set out in SI 1989 No 12122;
(j) copying by libraries for the purposes of supplementing or replenishing their stocks;
(k) making copies for circulation throughout an organisation whether in the public or private sector;
(l) reproduction within the context of seminar or training packs;
(m) reproduction within student theses and dissertations;
(n) translation into other languages.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but it seeks to illustrate the majority of potential uses of Bills and Explanatory Notes.
Conditions of use
10. All rights granted by this Guidance Note for the reproduction of the Bills and Explanatory Notes are non-exclusive.
11. All reproduction of Bills and Explanatory Notes shall be made from the official version. This means the text ordered to be printed by either House and bearing a House printing number or Bill number, or the text downloaded from any official source, including Parliament’s website. Users are not authorised to use other sources, such as commercial products published by law publishers.
12. Parliamentary copyright material:
(a) must be reproduced accurately and in a manner and context which is not misleading as to its intended meaning and application;
(b) must not be used in connection with advertising, endorsement or in any context which could be viewed as undignified association;
(c) must not be used in any circumstances which are knowingly or potentially libellous or slanderous of individuals, companies or organisations;
(d) when reproduced, Parliamentary copyright material must not purport to be published by authority of either House or of Parliament; or in a form or style, or using insignia or symbols, which might suggest that the reproduced version has official status: in particular the chained portcullis may not be reproduced without express permission.
13. Bills may pass through several stages in both Houses at which amendments may be made. Care should be taken to identify the relevant stage of a Bill if an extract is reproduced.
14. All publisher imprints, including the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and bar code, which are featured on the official versions of Bills and Explanatory Notes should be removed from any copies which are issued or made available to the public. This includes use of Bills and Explanatory Notes on the Internet and Intranet sites.
15. In cases where reproduced versions are being made available to others Parliamentary copyright must be acknowledged. In most cases, the following words will be appropriate:
"The text of [this Bill] [these Explanatory Notes] and the typographical arrangement of the text are Parliamentary Copyright".
16. When translating text into another language, all reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that a competent translator undertakes the translation and that the text is translated faithfully. The acknowledgment of Parliamentary copyright given at paragraph 14 should be made both in English and in the language(s) into which the text has been translated.
Licensing arrangements and charging
17. No charges are made by either House for the use of texts of Bills or Explanatory Notes.
18. It should be noted that the value-added pre-condition which was a feature of previous HMSO guidance in respect of the reproduction of Bills has been removed.
19. You may find the summary of the permitted uses and the corresponding obligations set out in the annex to this Guidance Note helpful.
Reproduction of Lords and Commons Bills, and the Explanatory Notes thereto
May be freely reproduced without obtaining specific permission. No fees or royalties are payable. This includes reproduction on the Internet and on Intranet sites. Substantial/Full Text
May be freely reproduced without obtaining specific permission. No fees or royalties are payable. This includes reproduction on the Internet and on Intranet sites.
1 Reproduction of United Kingdom, England, Wales and Northern Ireland Primary and Secondary Legislation.
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2 The Copyright (Libraries and Archivists) (Copying of Copyright Material) Regulations 1989.