Proposed EU Directive set to shake up re-use remuneration and could have ‘significant consequences’ for ALCS members

Writers could miss out on fair compensation for re-use of their works in the educational sector through a proposed EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The Content for Education campaign has been launched to raise awareness about the potential risks that may come from an open interpretation of Article 4 of the proposed EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The current draft of the Directive provides an exception to copyright: “to allow for the digital use of works and other subject matter for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching”. This section of the Directive could be seen as an invitation for extensive digital use of work within the educational sector and could affect the amount of money creators receive for this use. ALCS received £10.9 million from the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) for educational use in 2017-18, which was distributed to around 63,000 members. Around 64% of the total money ALCS paid out in our March distribution was generated from copying in the education sector, so a broad application of this exception could have potentially significant consequences for our members.

The campaign calls for EU policymakers to support a fair and balanced approach to the use of copyright works within education. This can be achieved by enabling creators and publishers to be compensated for the educational use of their works either under licences, as in the UK, or through mandatory compensation schemes, preventing the unlimited and unremunerated copying of content which would distort the publishing industry.

The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) has joined together with European Visual Artists (EVA), European Writers’ Council (EWC), Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to secure the fair remuneration for the copying of published content in Europe. ALCS is among several other collective management organisations – as well as European organisations representing writers, literary translators, visual artists, journalists and publishers – who are supporting IFRRO’s campaign to promote the sustainable production of high-quality content which will help educate future generations in Europe.

On the campaign’s website, you can find short, educational videos and testimonials from authors, illustrators, teachers and publishers explaining the possible negative consequences of the Directive for creators of new educational materials.

How you can help

We urge our members to sign the Content for Education petition to show support for a fair and balanced framework for the proposed EU Directive that won’t jeopardise quality content and its creators.

You can follow the campaign on Twitter @Content4Edu