Copyright for Editorial Professionals

Who is this course suitable for?

Copyright for Editorial Professionals is ideal for anyone in an editorial or project management role. An awareness of copyright and copyright clearance is useful in any editorial context.

Course description

An understanding of the principles and process of copyright clearance can be extremely helpful when working on larger projects. An editor or other editorial professional may be called upon to help to clear the permissions in large and small projects.

Once you have completed this course, you will be able to say, ‘I can do that!’

What you should know after the course

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • what copyright is
  • some essential copyright terminology
  • why knowing about permissions is useful to an editor
  • what copyright covers for different types of content
  • how to apply for copyright permissions
  • how to organise the information that you accumulate.
Curriculum snapshot

Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non-members)  
CIEP upgrade points 2
  Book now

Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

E-learning courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Prices are exclusive of tax, which will be added automatically at your local rate at checkout.

E-learning course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: 2
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 25–30 hours

This is a self-assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email), but the tutor does not mark any of your work. When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states that you have 'Completed' the course.


The course is divided into four units:

  • Unit 1 What is copyright?
  • Unit 2 What does copyright cover?
  • Unit 3 Clearing permissions – the process
  • Unit 4 Clearing permissions – administration

Each of the four units is divided into sections:

  1. What is copyright?
    1.1 Copyright and what it covers
    1.2 Other considerations

    1.3 Other relevant legislation
    1.4 Copyright terminology
    1.5 Why is knowing about permissions useful to an editor?

  2. What does copyright cover?
    2.1 Printed text and images
    2.2 Web text and images
    2.3 Databases
    2.4 Images, photographs, pictures, illustrations, graphics
    2.5 Other media
  1. Clearing permissions – the process
    3.1 The clearance decision
    3.2 Rights holders and how to find them
    3.3 Defining rights
    3.4 Payment
    3.5 Using a permissions editor
  2. Clearing permissions – administration
    4.1 Keeping records
    4.2 Permission requests
    4.3 Licences and contracts
    4.4 Acknowledgements

Each section includes study notes and a commentary on the exercises, with examples and model answers where appropriate. There are 15 exercises throughout the course, giving you plenty of practice at honing your skills.

Note that building your editing skills is outside the scope of this course.

Caveat: This course details aspects of law as they pertain to the activity of copyright clearance. It gives guidance on the principles and procedures involved. However, it is not legal advice. Should you have any concerns or queries about the copyright of specific material, please consult your legal team.

Book now All courses