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Copyright and British Library services

If you have any questions about the copyright implications of using the British Library's services, please follow the links below and contact the relevant department.

UK copyright law was revised in 2003 to align it with a European Union directive on copyright. See our frequently asked questions (FAQ) on copyright law for more information on aspects of the changes that affect our services.

Duration of copyright

Generally, copyright expires in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.

Please note that copyright duration is different for sound recordings, films, broadcasts and typographical arrangement - contact the relevant department for more information.

Note: We cannot answer general copyright questions that are not related to our services. If you have such a question, you should seek professional advice from a qualified lawyer. You may also find the UK Intellectual Property Office website useful.

Submission of material for legal deposit

The British Library
Legal Deposit Office
Boston Spa
Wetherby
West Yorkshire
LS23 7BY

Tel: +44 (0)1937 546268 (books) / 546267 (serials)
Fax: +44 (0)1937-546176

Email: legal-deposit-books@bl.uk
Email: legal-deposit-serials@bl.uk

More information: View our legal deposit page (link on the right) 

Copies from our document supply services

Please note that our Library Privilege Copy Services can only be used by UK registered organisations for the purposes of a non-commercial nature or private study. Also, a declaration form must be personally signed by the end user (stamped or typewritten signatures, or the signature of an agent, are not acceptable) for all copies produced and supplied. This declaration should be held by requesting library, not the British Library.

The Declaration forms for Library Privilege copies form is available for you to download in the right hand PDF files panel.

Customer Services
The British Library
Document Supply
Boston Spa, Wetherby
LS23 7BQ

Tel: +44 (0)1937 546060
Fax: +44 (0)1937 546333

E-mail: customer-services@bl.uk

More information: Visit the home page of Document Supply Services.

Copies from our research collections based in St Pancras

Customer Services
The British Library
Document Supply
Boston Spa, Wetherby
LS23 7BQ

Tel: +44 (0)1937 546060
Fax: +44 (0)1937 546333

E-mail: customer-services@bl.uk

Copies from newspapers

The Newsroom
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7377
E-mail: newspaper@bl.uk

More information: Visit our British Library Newspapers collections 

Permissions clearance (for further reproduction of British Library images in any form)

Images Online
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7614

E-mail: permissions@bl.uk

More information: Visit Images Online (link on the right)

Legal Disclaimer

Although the British Library uses its best endeavours to provide reliable advice, it disclaims all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy of any advice provided in relation to interpreting UK Copyright Law associated with any of the services it provides. This includes but is not by way of limitation:

  1. any implied warranties
  2. any liability for damage to your business resulting from the advice or the lack of advice
  3. any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the advice
  4. any decision made or action taken or not taken in reliance upon the advice

The British Library makes no warranty as to the content, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the advice or that the advice may be relied upon for any reason and bears no responsibility for the accuracy, content or legality of any linked site or organisation that the British Library may recommend and for that of any subsequent links.

The British Library shall not be liable for any losses or damages (including without limitation consequential loss or damage) whatsoever from the use of, or reliance on, the advice provided. Any links to other Web sites or organisations does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the British Library of any products, services, policies or opinions of the organisation or individual.

These disclaimers and exclusions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law under the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

PDF files

The links below are to Adobe PDF files. Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.