What is extended collective licensing (ECL)?

In 2014, the UK Government introduced The Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations to enable collecting societies to apply for an ECL.

In general, ECL would allow collecting societies to run licensing schemes without permission on an individual basis from the copyright owner, or rightsholder, such as an artist, photographer, illustrator or artist estate. This means that in addition to granting licences on behalf of its members, these bodies could also grant licences on behalf of copyright owners who they do not directly represent, but who are concerned by the scheme.

ECL has been used successfully in the Nordic countries for many years but is in most cases limited to secondary uses of work and not generally primary licensing of works.

This is also what the CLA propose and would have no effect on the primary licensing activities of rightsholders. CLA submitted its ECL application to the UK Government on 6 October 2017. 

For more information, please see the CLA’s Factsheet on their ECL application.

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What is the difference between primary licensing and secondary uses?

Primary licensing refers to the original reproduction of a work in a book or magazine, and this is licensed directly by the copyright owner.
The royalties available through Payback, via the CLA, are for the secondary uses of your artwork, for example when people photocopy, scan or record it.

For example, when someone in a university, public sector organisation or other type of business wants to photocopy pages from a book which features your work, as the creator of the work being photocopied, you are entitled to a royalty. Rather than ask the person to contact you every time they photocopy your work, the organisation pays an annual licence fee to the CLA that covers the photocopying of copyright-protected works.

The CLA operating an ECL simply means that their current business of selling secondary use licences to universities, schools, businesses, etc. will be extended to rightsholders who are currently not formally represented by any of the CLA member organisations: DACS, ALCS, PLS and PICSEL.
It does not give the CLA greater rights or permission to carry out primary licensing on behalf of rightsholders.

For further information about how Payback works please refer to our Payback FAQs.

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Will CLA's application to run an ECL affect me?

CLA operating an ECL will not have any impact on the primary licensing of artists, nor will it affect the way DACS currently operates Payback.

However, if the CLA is not able to extend its licensing in this way and show that it offers the right to copy a comprehensive repertoire of material in the UK, there is a risk that revenues could be reduced. This would in turn reduce the money that DACS is able to distribute to visual artists through Payback.

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Can I opt out of ECL?

Yes, the Regulations allow rightsholders to opt out some or all of their works from an ECL scheme. If you are ultimately opting out of an ECL that the CLA may operate once approved, you would no longer be able to claim any Payback royalties for these secondary uses of your works as they would fall outside of the licence that CLA offers to its licensees. 

To opt out, you must give notice to DACS at optout@dacs.org.uk and you can provide details of some or all of the works you wish to opt out as the rightsholder and choose to opt out of particular ECL licences or all of them. You can also opt out with CLA by sending an email to CLA at optout@cla.co.uk. 
CLA is only required to give to its licenses details that has been received by rightsholders. You can opt out of an ECL scheme at any time, whether before or after CLA has been granted authorisation by the UK Government. 

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What other safeguards are there for me?

The ECL scheme will be regulated by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and therefore enhance transparency and accountability to you and other rightsholders.

All collective management organisations (CMOs), like DACS, are obliged to have codes of conducts. These are intended to add extra security for all rightsholders whether or not they have granted mandates to the CMO. View DACS’ Code of Conduct.

In addition, the Collective Rights Management Regulations 2016 ensure transparency and accountability of CMOs by placing strict statutory obligations on our operations and how we service members and non-members.

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What is DACS’ position on extended collective licensing?

In 2012 DACS surveyed artists and artist estates as part of a consultation by the Government on extended collective licensing. We found that 83% of those who responded to the survey felt that with the appropriate safeguards in place, they could support extended collective licensing.

As such, we stated in our response to the consultation that we would only support the legislation for extended collective licensing schemes if it included a criteria that any scheme would need to be approved by a majority of copyright owners that it affected; if it does not negatively impact on primary markets and if it allows copyright owners to opt out of the scheme. In line with our recommendations, the proposed legislation was updated to require extended collective licensing schemes to provide copyright owners the option to opt out.

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