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Are there occasions when a copyright fee is not necessary?

You do not need to pay a copyright fee if:

  • You are ordering the item on loan
  • The copy is wanted for research for a non-commercial purpose or private study and you are making the request via an organisation registered with the British Library (note that this does not apply if you are based outside the UK or are registered as a commercial organisation)
  • The copy is required for parliamentary or judicial proceedings, a Royal Commission or statutory inquiry.*
  • The copy is required to replace an item that has been lost or damaged, but this service is only available to a library, archive, gallery or museum in the UK.*

If a copyright fee does not need to be paid on the copy you are ordering, we call it a Library Privilege copy. The person who wants the Library Privilege copy, i.e. the end user, must sign a Copyright Declaration Form in order to declare that they are not knowingly breaking copyright law.

You can download Copyright Declaration Form from the 'Copyright and British Library Services', link on the right. If the Library Privilege copy is delivered electronically or by fax, you must ensure that a similar declaration is signed. You do not return these forms to us, the organisation ordering the material should keep them for a minimum of seven years in case the rights owner, or their agent, requests an audit of the Library Privilege service. All copies must be accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgment, unless this is impossible, for reasons of practicality or otherwise.

*Please note, if you are registered with the British Library as a commercial organisation please contact our Customer Services Accounts team before placing a library privilege order.