There is no statutory definition in the Land Registration Act 2002 of “official copy”. In practice, a hard copy of an official copy is one prepared by Land Registry or a printed version of an electronic official copy (providing that the electronic file has not been modified or corrupted).
It is generally considered that a photocopy of an official copy is not an official copy itself. For more information on official copies and how to apply for
them, see Land Registry Practice Guide 1115
Copies of the register are Crown copyright. Land Registry permits copies to be reproduced for the benefit of potential purchasers and other relevant parties as part of the home information pack duties, but this permission does not extend to any other purpose.
The original “copy” (i.e. the electronic copy downloaded from the Land Registry or a hard copy is required at this stage should therefore be passed to either the seller’s or buyer’s conveyancing lawyer or conveyancing solicitor for this purpose.