Frequently Asked Questions
The Cabinet Office is aware that there has been concern expressed within the market concerning the publication of an OPSI report. Individuals have made their comments based on their interpretation of the OPSI report. Some of these interpretations demonstrate limited understanding of how UK Government rules around re-use of public sector information works. The attached Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 166Kb) are intended to provide clarification on the OPSI ruling from Cabinet Office's perspective.
- What constitutes Cabinet Office's own Intellectual Property?
- Why do you need a licence to re-use Intellectual Property?
- What if I have a query about using Cabinet Office's Intellectual Property?
- What is Crown copyright?
- What does Copyright 're-use' mean?
- Who owns Crown copyright material?
- What types of licence are available?
- What does a licence cover?
- How long is the licence valid for?
- Do I have to Pay?
- How long does it take to get a licence?
- I would like to reprint a publication I have already received a licence for; can I use the same licence?
- I would like to use some Cabinet Office material in a book, what do I need to do?
- I am designing a publication on behalf of a client. Who applies for the licence?
- What are Cabinet Office's trade marks?
- Can Trade Marks be re-used or reproduced?
If you cannot find the answer to your question please email the Efficiency & Reform Group Service Desk: ServiceDesk@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.
1. What constitutes The Cabinet Office's own Intellectual Property?
The Cabinet Office develops and publishes a wide range of best practice material, that is protected by Crown copyright and Trade Marks.
The Cabinet Office Best Practice Portfolio covers a wide range of management practices, including programme and project management, procurement and service management. This exists in various formats, including web-based material as well as formally published books, CDs etc.
A full list of products comprising the Best Management Practice Portfolio is available by visiting the Publications Library. You can understand more about the Best Management Practice portfolio by reading the following FAQs.
The Cabinet Office also produces a variety of other Crown copyright materials, which include documentation relating to the Gateway Reviews for Programme and Projects and a number of guidance and policy documents on public procurement and other related issues.
2. Why do you need a licence to re-use Intellectual Property?
You don't always - it depends on the material you are looking to use and how you wish to use it, for example the law allows you to re-use material for the purpose of private study or review.
The Cabinet Office has invested in producing high quality materials, which set the standard in certain sections of the market and are used on a worldwide basis. The reason that the Cabinet Office requires an individual to obtain a licence before permitting them to use Cabinet Office Intellectual Property is to enable the Cabinet Office to ensure that it can maintain the quality and image of its brand. It can put into place the necessary checks and approvals so that the product meets certain standards. It can also check that the appropriate acknowledgement is made and, in certain cases, fees are charged to provide a return on the Cabinet Office's investment into the development of best practice.
The Cabinet Office's approach to Intellectual Property management is based on standard legal practices for the protection of Intellectual Property rights and the British Government's policies for accessing information. Please visit: The OPSI website for more information relating to Crown copyright.
3. What if I have a query about using Cabinet Office's intellectual property?
Please contact the Efficiency & Reform Group's Service Desk: ServiceDesk@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk
The service desk will be able to help you with queries relating to the use of material from Cabinet Office's products but they are not able to provide advice on intellectual property use generally. You can get more information from the UK Intellectual Property Office website or by speaking to a qualified intellectual property adviser.
4. What is Crown copyright?
Crown copyright is material which is produced by employees of the Crown in the course of their duties. Most material originated by ministers and civil servants is protected by Crown copyright. For further information about a range of copyright and access issues, visit: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/click-use/index.htm
5. What does copyright 're-use' mean?
Re-use of Crown copyright material is where an individual or organisation wishes to copy or adapt the material for publication or other purposes.
Re-use covers a variety of possibilities. The following are examples of potential re-uses:
Copying textual and/or image information into another
document or product. For example, reproducing a diagram from Crown copyright
Rewording or redesigning textual and/or image information into another document or product, such that the essential meaning of the original material is retained. For example, adapting Crown copyright material by using different words and structures.
Publishing in electronic or hard copy formats any material that contains copied or adapted Crown copyright material.
For more information please follow the link to the Scheme Explained (PDF 2Mb).
6. Who owns the Cabinet Office material?
The copyright in all material published by the Cabinet Office or on Cabinet Office's behalf, is owned by the Crown and comes within a special category of copyright material known as "Crown copyright".
The Cabinet Office Crown copyright material can be recognised as it will be accompanied by a copyright statement that generally carries the following wording:
"© Crown copyright with Value Added Product Status" or just "© Crown copyright".
Copyright protection applies to all of Cabinet Office's material, wherever it is accessed or available.
The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the government
department that is responsible for dealing with all issues relating to Crown
copyright materials produced by all government departments. The Cabinet Office
has been granted a delegation of copyright from OPSI which allows the Cabinet
Office to licence its own Crown copyright material. For more information
please follow the link to
Explained (PDF 2Mb) .
7. What types of licence are available?
For re-use of Crown copyright material, either a PSI (Public Sector Information) licence or a Value Added licence is required.
In certain circumstances a waiver may apply, see the section entitled "Use of content solely from the Cabinet Office's website" for more information.
Re-use of material marked "© Crown copyright" requires a PSI licence.
Re-use of material marked "© Crown copyright with Value Added product status" or "Value Added product" requires a Value Added licence.
For more information on the types of copyright licence that are available and how to obtain a copyright licence please follow the link to Scheme Explained (PDF 2Mb).
For re-use of trade marks, a trade mark licence is required - see Question 9.
8. What does a licence cover?
Re-use of the Cabinet Office's Intellectual Property (Crown copyright and trade marks) is typically for one of the following reasons:
For use within a non-commercial product or service - for example, as part of an organisation's internal management standards for use by staff in the course of their work.
For use within a commercially delivered product or service - for example, as part of a priced product sold or licensed to customers, or as part of a consultancy service delivered to customers.
9. How long is the licence valid for?
This depends on how you are using the material, for more information please follow the link to the Length of Licence document (DOC 26Kb).
10. Do I have to pay for a licence?
This depends on the type of material you are using and how you will be using it, for more information please follow the link to Charging Structure (DOC 93Kb).
11. How long does it take to get a licence?
We will issue you with a temporary licence within 20 working days of receipt of your completed application form. This allows you to use Cabinet Office copyright material to develop your product. Once you have developed your product we will review it within 20 working days of receipt for compliance with the Licence criteria (DOC 38Kb) and upon completion grant you a full licence. The process time from start to finish depends on your product and your development time, on average we find that most licences take around 3 months, but it can be much quicker and some licences have been granted in just 5 days. For more informaton please follow this link to the Scheme Explained (PDF 2Mb).
12. I would like to reprint a publication I have already received a licence for; can I use the same licence?
The licence is only usually valid for the original application but it depends on the nature and extent of the changes within the reprint as to whether a new licence is required. As a general rule the greater the number of changes, the more likely it will be that you will need a new licence. Please contact the Licensing team via ServiceDesk@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk for further advice.
13. I would like to use some Cabinet Office material in a book, what do I need to do?
You need to complete the Licence Application Form (DOC 50Kb) prior to using any of the Cabinet Office material. The Cabinet Office will then process your application and will provide you with a licence to develop your product. We will review your product and if approved, we will issue a licence for each application and an invoice for the amount due. The licence fee will depend on the amount of material used and further information on fees can be found at the Charging Structure.
14. I am designing a publication on behalf of a client. Who applies for the licence?
The client or author of the publication will need to complete and sign the application form before you use any of the Cabinet Office's Crown copyright material.
15. What are Cabinet Office's trade marks?
The Cabinet Office owns a number of trade marks and logos which appear on certain published material and websites. Reference to a trade mark usually appears as: "... is a Registered Trade Mark of the Cabinet Office". There are some variations to this statement, depending on the nature of the Cabinet Office's registration.
Trade mark protection applies to all uses of the Cabinet Office's trade marks. The Cabinet Office permits certain use of its trade marks in accordance with its policy as detailed on this website. For more information see the relevant pages for the trade mark you wish to use.
A full list of Cabinet Office's trade marks and can be found at Annex 1.
16. Can trade marks be re-used or reproduced?
You should seek written permission from the Cabinet Office to re-use or reproduce any of its trade marks. Permission, if granted, will include conditions and restrictions. In some cases a trade mark licence will be required.
The Cabinet Office will consider an application for a trade mark licence to use a Cabinet Office trade mark name (not logo) in the title of a product or service, produced by non-partner organisations, if they meet specific set criteria.
To apply to reuse or reproduce any Cabinet Office trade mark please contact the Efficiency & Reform Group Service Desk: ServiceDesk@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.
The Cabinet Office will not permit any Cabinet Office trade mark to be used as a hyperlink.
The Cabinet Office's trade marks also appear on material published by our partner organisations and their accredited agents. All these instances are governed by specific Trade Mark licence terms and conditions.