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New business study shows working remotely increased information sharing

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), the recognised UK licensing body for the reuse of text and images, shares the results of a new Information Seeking and Consumption Study carried out by Outsell for Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).

Outsell regularly conducts quantitative studies for CCC which provide cumulative insights about how copyright content is used and shared in the workplace.

According to the results from the 2020 study, 34% of respondents working remotely reported an increase in the frequency of sharing content during the pandemic. Of those, 63% in executive roles said they are sharing more often now, compared to 27% of middle managers and 22% of individual contributors.

Nearly half of the study respondents (47%) are either unaware of copyright policy or unsure of its details.

“The new conditions brought about by the effects of the pandemic forced many businesses to accelerate their flexible working practices and this meant more workers collaborating from a distance. What this study underlines is that with content sharing on the increase, management of copyright and permissions is more important than ever for businesses.”

said Justin Manton, Director of Sales at CLA

CLA’s annual business licence gives your company the right to re-use extracts from millions of published digital and print publications, including articles supplied by press cutting services. It gives you protection against the risk of copyright infringement and includes an indemnity against legal action and the associated costs.

Find out if you need a CLA Licence and make sure your business is protected.


Outsell designed the questionnaire with input and final approval from CCC. The final survey instrument required respondents to spend no more than 15 minutes to complete and contained no more than 20 screens of questions. Topics in the questionnaire covered the following areas: demographics; information-seeking behaviours; content access and consumption; copyright awareness; sharing habits and behaviours; and changes in behaviour due to pandemic conditions.

The study surveyed knowledge workers at companies with global headquarters in the following countries: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and India.

The study focused on the following sectors: Chemicals and Plastics, Computers and Electronic Components, Consulting and Professional Services, Electric and Gas Utilities, Finance / Insurance, Law Firms, Leisure and Travel, Life Sciences (including Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Medical Devices, and Scientific Equipment), Oil and Gas Extraction (Exploration, Drilling, Production, and Refining), Transportation and Automotive, Wholesale & Retail.

View and download the original report published by CCC.

About Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA)

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) is a non-profit body recognised by the government ( as the collective licensing body for the reuse of text and images from books, journals, and magazines.

About Outsell, Inc.

Outsell is the leading research and advisory firm serving executives operating in the data, information, and analytics economy.

About Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

CCC collaborates with customers to advance how data and information is integrated, accessed, and shared while setting the standard for effective copyright solutions that accelerate knowledge and power innovation.