Friday 12 March 2010

New innovations in collective licensing boost payments for UK publishers...

UK based publishers especially will be interested in this (I think impressive) announcement from PLS.


For immediate release

London, UK – 12 March 2010

New innovations in collective licensing boost payments for UK publishers

The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) reports that in March 2010 it will distribute £4.3m to publishers from the business sector, up from £3.4m for the previous equivalent distribution.

This increase is mainly due to two new initiatives raising payments to publishers. Firstly, a move to include digital publications, i.e. e-books, e-journals, and e-magazines, to the copiable repertoire of collective licences has increased the overall value of licences. Secondly, a new revenue stream of public lending payments from the Netherlands is being distributed to UK publishers via PLS.

The first licences to encompass digital publications were launched in 2008 on an opt-in basis for rightsowners. Since then, over 1,300 UK-based publishers have signed up to support the new digital licensing initiative. Today, the completion of data gathering exercises mean that PLS is able to pay publishers royalties for copying from their digital publications in a fair and representative way.

Alicia Wise of PLS commented: ‘Licensing is an easy and flexible way to gain legal access to intellectual content, while providing remuneration to ensure that publishers continue to source, develop, and distribute really high-quality publications from topflight authors. I am really grateful to the 2,700+ UK publishing companies who actively support collective licensing, and encourage us to innovate in ways that complement their primary business.’

Jenny Pickles of John Wiley & Sons said: ‘It’s critical that copyright is respected in a digital world as well as print. We are pleased that the CLA digital licences contribute towards the protection of our digital publications, and compensate rightsowners should their titles be copied by any of the broad range of organisations that own a copy licence’.

The new revenue stream from the Netherlands is equivalent to the UK Public Lending Right scheme which remunerates authors for the lending of their works through public libraries. However, the Dutch scheme differs in that publishers are included in the list of rightsowners that are entitled to a portion of fees. This money contributes a total of £60k to the March distribution.

The increase in distributions to publishers will further the PLS contribution to the UK publishing industry’s bottom line. In 2009, PLS distributed a combined total of £26.1m to UK publishers, contributing 5.2% to the estimated £500m annual profit that the UK publishing industry generated over the same period.

David Bishop, Email:, Tel: 020 7299 7775
Publishers Licensing Society, 37-41 Gower Street, London

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