Where the money comes from
Where does the money come from?
ALCS collects money owed to writers from a wide range of sources both national and international. These sources include:
Photocopying, scanning and digital copying currently accounts for approximately 65% of ALCS income. This income is from licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), set up jointly by ALCS and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) to license reproduction rights on behalf of its Member organisations. The CLA offers a number of licensing options for businesses, educational institutions and government agencies to ensure writers are appropriately remunerated when their works are copied or scanned. For more information on the terms of these licences please visit http://www.cla.co.uk
For more information on the journals scheme please see the Journals/Magazines FAQs.
Do I qualify for payments?
If your books, or magazines and journals containing your work are available to be photocopied or scanned in schools, universities, businesses, public sector bodies or libraries then you may be entitled to a share of the income collected by the CLA. Each establishment that allows the copying of works pays a licence fee to the CLA in order to remunerate the writers whose works may be used in this way.
To make sure you receive your share of this income, you should register all your books with ALCS as well as any magazine or journal articles written in the last 3 years (ie since January 2010). If you do this using the Members' area of the website you will see all your works online. If you post us details we will scan these against your account but they will not appear online until monies have accrued for the work.
We now also receive some income for freelance journalists for the reprographic copying of UK newspapers in Belgium. For further information about this source please click here.
Overseas Public Lending Right
Although UK PLR payments remain the responsibility of UK government body, Public Lending Right, ALCS administers payments due to UK writers from the Austrian, Dutch, Belgian, French, Spanish, German, Estonian and Irish PLR schemes. This list is likely to grow in the future as other EU countries implement PLR schemes.
Do I qualify for payments?
If you have written a book that has been published in Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain or Germany or that is available in libraries in those countries then you may be entitled to receive income from those countries’ PLR schemes via ALCS. You should make sure to register any foreign editions of titles with ALCS in order to claim your share.
This is the simultaneous showing of one country's broadcasting in another country via a cable network. ALCS receives fees for cable transmission of British programmes containing literary, scripted or underlying literary material, which it then distributes to writers whose works have been broadcast in this way.
Do I qualify for payment?
Though ALCS is able to track cable transmission of many programmes, to make sure you receive your share of cable retransmission income you should provide ALCS with an up to date list of TV and radio programmes to which you have contributed.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 gave schools, colleges and other educational establishments the right to record any radio or television broadcast for educational purposes without infringing copyright. The Educational Recording Agency (ERA), which was established in 1989, licenses this activity and collects fees to compensate the authors and other owners of the rights in the broadcast works.
ALCS is responsible for paying writers their share of the fees collected by ERA.
Do I qualify for payment?
As with cable retransmission above, to make sure you receive your share of educational recording income you should provide ALCS with an up to date list of TV and radio works to which you have contributed.
In most European countries, a levy is charged on the sale of recording and copying equipment. These are usually referred to as private copying levies and are intended to compensate rights owners for the further re-uses of their works. ALCS claims fees on behalf of UK writers from the various private copying levies operating in Europe.
Small Literary Rights
ALCS also collects and distributes fees from various miscellaneous sources. These include readings of excerpts of literary works on television and radio in certain countries. The term “small literary rights” is used to describe such payments.
ALCS distributes fees to poets for the use of their work in poetry festivals. This follows an agreement between ALCS and the British Federation of Music, Drama and Speech Festivals (BFMDSF). The agreement allows participants in festivals affiliated to the BFMDSF to recite poems in return for a small copyright fee.
What other fees may I benefit from?
Collective management is not an exact science and occasionally ALCS may receive monies from a foreign collecting society with little or no data. These monies are put into a category called 'non-title specific' which we also call 'top-up'. Our distribution rules allow us to spread these monies across the appropriate sub-section of our membership who write in the area these monies would have been attributed to. We feel this is the fairest way of ensuring all writers benefit and anyone who has written a book with an ISBN number is eligible for the payment on an annual basis (usually paid in our February distribution).
How do I know you have paid me everything I am due?
The payments are audited on an annual basis but if you do detect an error on our statements, the onus is on you to report it to ALCS so that any correction may be made.