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Every website under ownership of an agency must contain a copyright statement which states (as a minimum) that:
- the material on the website is protected by copyright; and
- anyone can utilise any of the material available on the website free of charge and without permission of the agency provided that the source and copyright status of the material is acknowledged.
Agencies may also wish (but are not required) to:
- state, as a further condition of use, that the material should not be altered; the desirability of such a condition will depend on the nature of the information and the ways in which it may be utilised; and
- consider whether to regulate or prohibit any or particular forms of commercial use; there is no absolute position or presumption on this issue, the position taken on individual sites depending on the circumstances, and bearing in mind that certain forms of commercial use (e.g., mash-ups and other value-added services) can be beneficial not only to the corporate taxpayers concerned but to government, the public and the overall economy.
Use of "Crown copyright"
Where the agency concerned is part of the Crown as defined in section 2(1) of the Copyright Act 1994 (in essence, government departments and certain offices of Parliament), references in the above requirements to "copyright" should be amended to read "Crown copyright".
Mixed Copyright Ownership
Where an agency's website contains content or downloadable items in which the agency does not own copyright:
- that should be specified in reasonable proximity to the items; and
- any general copyright statement on the website will need to be qualified (e.g., "Unless otherwise indicated, copyright in material available on this website is owned by…").
The copyright statement, or a link to it, must be placed on the About This Site page.
See the Guide to the Copyright Standard.
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