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5 ways you might be unknowingly infringing copyright at work

Image showing file sharing methods in front of a laptop

Routine tasks of copying, sharing, and saving published content have become a key part of our day-to-day at work, especially when there’s an endless amount of content readily available online. However, because of this huge amount of content and the ease with which it can be copied and shared, many people could unintentionally be infringing copyright.

Common copyright infringement scenarios in the workplace

Here are five ways you could be unknowingly infringing copyright at work:

  1. Saving articles or extracts on internal platforms such as shared drives or intranets
  2. Sharing published content with colleagues via email
  3. Reusing published content in an internal or external presentation
  4. Repurposing content for social media or other online sources
  5. Sharing industry reports and market research

Understanding the consequences of unintentional copyright infringement

All of the above are often common aspects of professional collaboration but reusing content without proper attribution, permission or the appropriate licence in place could be considered unauthorised distribution and in turn, result in copyright infringement. Remember, your right to view something online is very different to your right to reuse it.

It’s important to make sure that you take the necessary steps to avoid inadvertent copyright infringement because even the most honest mistake could lead to severe penalties such as fines and damaged reputation.

Emphasising copyright compliance

You should always assume that the content you find online is protected by copyright and that you need permission to reuse it. By understanding these common copyright pitfalls, you can make well-informed decisions to ensure copyright compliance.

Supporting Creatives: The importance of respecting copyright

Copyright exists to encourage and maintain the flow and creation of new content. The income received by writers, publishers and visual artists in return for the copying of their work is an important income for creators and non-compliance denies them this remuneration. CLA’s licences ensure that writers, visual artists and publishers receive a fair reward when their work is used so they can continue to invest their time and money in creating new content.

Act responsibly. Protect your organisation. Support creatives. Copy, Right.

CLA’s Copyright Risk Assessment checklist

If you are worried about your organisation’s risk of copyright infringement, we’ve created a handy checklist to help you easily assess your copyright compliance at work.


Get checklist