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Extended Collective Licensing - Members' Poll

Introduction 

Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) describes a statutory authority that permits a licensing body to extend its licences to include the works of rightsholders who are not members of that licensing body. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2013) permits the Government to authorise licensing bodies to operate ECLs in the UK. Regulations enacted in 2014, setting out the criteria that must be met by bodies making such applications, include a requirement that members of the licensing body affected by the scheme must consent to it.

The Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd. (CLA) intends to apply for an ECL to support the collective licences it provides to the education, business and public administration sectors. CLA’s two members, ALCS and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), are supporting CLA in its ECL application. The application relates to CLA’s ‘blanket licences’ which enable licensed organisations to copy limited extracts from the published materials,such as books, magazines and academic journals in their collections.

On behalf of their author and publisher members respectively, ALCS and PLS mandate CLA to issue the licences described above. Unless works are expressly excluded from a CLA blanket licence they are deemed to be included. As such, works of authors and publishers who are not members of ALCS or PLS may be copied. When this happens, authors are contacted by ALCS, paid their due fees and admitted to ALCS membership. By securing a statutory ECL authority CLA will, in effect, acquire a more formal mandate to license on behalf of ‘unrepresented’ rightholders’.

Types of licence that will be subject to ECL:

The CLA licences relevant to the ECL application are the ‘blanket’ licences offered to the education, business and public administration sectors. Full details of the licences are available on the CLA website 

Rights and uses covered by the ECL:

CLA licences typically permit users to copy the greater of 5% or one chapter of a work or, for a journal or a magazine, one article. Copies may be distributed in paper form, scanned or accessed in digital form via secure networks operated by the licensee.  

Benefit to ALCS Members of the CLA ECL scheme:

Securing the statutory ECL will enable the continuation of the CLA ‘blanket’ licences in their current form with no disruption to the payments that CLA makes to ALCS for distribution to authors. Conversely, if CLA’s application was unsuccessful, it may be necessary to restrict the licensing schemes to a prescribed repertoire of works. The reduced facility to licensees could result in a renegotiation of the fees paid to CLA which would mean reduced payments to ALCS members.

Opting out of an ECL Scheme:

The ECL Regulations specify that rightsholders whose works will be covered by an extended licence should have the opportunity to opt-out of the licence. As an ALCS member you are already entitled to notify us of any works that you wish to exclude from CLA licences. However should you wish to notify us of any works that you would like to opt-out of the proposed CLA ECL licences you can do so by emailing alcs@alcs.co.uk or calling ALCS on: 020 7264 5770.   

Further information:

A list of FAQs concerning ECL can be accessed here. For further information please call / email ALCS on telephone: 020 7264 5770 or email alcs@alcs.co.uk

We request all ALCS Members complete the short poll here