Guidance on sharing books and other content online during the current lockdown

At this difficult time, we are aware that many educators are exploring how they can replicate the classroom experience for their students remotely, to ensure that their learning is not unduly impacted. Read on for some important guidance from ALCS

A question that has come up repeatedly in the past couple of weeks is whether the sharing of books and other content via online conferencing or uploading ‘readings’ is permissible, either by the author themselves, or by a teachers wanting to read books to their classes for example.

There is no simple answer to this question unfortunately. These types of usage are not covered by any ALCS licensing, but typically, in order to upload a video clip to open, online sharing sites such as YouTube, you would need permission from the ‘rightsholder’, which could be the author, their agent or their publisher.

Clearly we are not operating in ‘typical’ times however; the current environment poses a unique set of circumstances, and many publishers and authors have responded accordingly, issuing specific advice about how their works can be used. Many are allowing these types of use under certain circumstances for a given period of time.

Publishers which have recently changed their usual policies are listed below. If your publisher has a specific policy about the types of sharing above, please drop us a line and we will update our list.

Penguin Random House

Faber & Faber




Little Tiger

The Publishers Association is also collating a list of the measures that publishers have already put in place to help consumers of content at this time and will shortly be posting guidance notes on its website to help teachers trying to support remote education.

Please check back here for updates to this list of publisher guidance.

ALCS does not provide formal legal advice or represent these rights for its’ members so this information is shared as guidance only.