Check what you want to copy can be copied under the General Arts Licence; if so, follow the instructions below.

Anything you produce under the General Arts Licence can be sold, hired out, put on display, etc.; copyleft is comfortable in the commercial world. Remember, though, everything produced under the licence must the subject to the licence too.


You can make straight copies.

You can make minor changes to the appearance of a publication to, for example, fit your house style. You may not change the artwork itself, but you may change other parts such as page headers, footers, frames to reflect different page numbers, etc.. Be careful: you cannot change the visual arrangement of a poem; you cannot capitalise, uncapitalise, or change its punctuation; you cannot change the contrast or crop a photograph; and so on.

You may not change the arrangement of artworks within a volume. In this context, the substitution of page breaks or column breaks for stanza breaks are not regarded as part of a poem’s layout.

You may change the presentation of the volume, for example to reflect your house style, and the presentation of the artworks on the page, perhaps altering the number per page.

You may not add, change or remove artwork.

Notwithstanding the points above, you may change the name of the publisher and printer noted in the volume, and their logos, as appropriate.

Your copy is required by the licence to be subject to the licence too, so that others may copy, modify or distribute your version of the work.


You may not change the copyleft licence, and must include it in your modified edition. If the © notice identifies some sections as “invariant”, then you may not change them and must include them in your modified edition.

Unless specifically noted in the licence, digested in the section above, any change of any kind to the volume is a modification. In particular, translation, interpretation, and setting are all regarded as forms of modification.

If, for example, you set a poem to music, include a photograph in a montage, or perform a play, then your work must be subject to that copyleft licence too. For example, if you perform your setting of a copyleft poem in concert, people can make and distribute recordings of your concert using the licence, although their activities may not interfere with your performance.

However, a copyleft licence is not exclusive. You can make alternative arrangements with the copyright holders so that your modification of the work is not copyleft.

See section 4 of the licence for instructions on making modifications.


If you want to extract a small part of the work, such as a couple of poems from a collection, you can do so without including a full copy of the licence. However, you must ensure a copy of the licence is easily accessible to anyone who might encounter the extracted works, perhaps by putting it in a specific net location, and you must include a specific copyright notice. This location must also include copies of all invariant sections, if there are any. Ideally, it should include a full copy of the work. Full details are in the licence.