As a result of the current pandemic, we hosted the ALCS AGM virtually this year on 26 November 2020.

The meeting opened with a short video which showed members what ALCS has been up to during 2019/20. It featured members of the ALCS Senior Management Team speaking about some of the projects the organisation has worked on during the past year, and highlighting some headline figures, including the fact that in 2019/20, ALCS collected £36.4 million – our 10th consecutive year doing so – and distributed a record £36.8 million to over 92,000 members, while keeping net commission rates competitively low at 8.4%.

Owen Atkinson, Chief Executive took the opportunity to address some of the challenges ALCS may face in the future as a result of COVID-19 and Brexit, explaining how these may impact future ALCS income. He assured members that the focus in future will remain on developing licensing opportunities both in the UK and around the world, whilst keeping commission rates low.

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive, presented a summary of  advocacy work undertaken over the past year, including details of ALCS’ work with the All Party Parliamentary Writers’ Group (APWG); international work conducted in partnership with PLR International, the Society of Audiovisual Authors and the International Authors Forum (IAF); and various other successful campaigns – including calling for changes to the SEISS and Axe the Reading Tax – tALCS has worked on.

Alison Baxter, Head of Communications, then spoke about copyright education projects that ALCS has supported this year, which help increase understanding about the importance of copyright to creators. She also highlighted another key project supported by ALCS during 2020: the Authors’ Emergency Fund administered by the Society of Authors, which was set up to support authors who have been financially affected by the pandemic .

The video was followed by the official proceedings of the ALCS AGM, presented by Owen Atkinson; Mark Bispham, Chief Financial Officer; and Tony Bradman, Chair of ALCS from their respective homes. While the proceedings were presented virtually, members were still able to vote for agenda items online and ask questions of the team, just as they would during an in-person meeting.

The 2020 ALCS AGM was closed by Chair Tony Bradman who thanked everyone for participating, and assured members that ALCS will continue to work hard on behalf of all writers.

If you missed this year’s AGM or would like to watch it again, you can watch it in full here:

You can also find the minutes for this meeting here.

Thank you to all ALCS members who joined us for our first virtual AGM, and for bearing with us while we worked with new technology!