Copyright Licensing and the Copyright Licensing Agency

The Copyright Licensing Agency

The Copyright Licensing Agency is the body that deals specifically with the licensing of certain copyright material in the UK and is defined specifically in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1998 as:

“a society or other organisation which has as its main object, or one of its main objects, the negotiation or granting,  either as owner or prospective owner of copyright or as agent for him, of copyright licences, and whose objects include  the granting of licences covering works of more than one author.”

The Copyright Licensing Agency was established in 1983 and is owned by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Limited (ALCS) and the Publishers’ Licensing Society Limited (PLS) in order to perform collective licensing on their behalf.

There is also an agreement in place with the Design and Artists Copyright Society Limited (DACS) that enables the Copyright Licensing Agency to license the copying of artistic works on their behalf.

The Music Industry

In relation to the music industry when work is released it is usually the case that the work is owned by the record company due to a contractual provision in the contract between the artist and the record company.

If you wish to use extracts or samples from the work of a specific artist you will be liable to pay the record company for the use of the work.

The Film Industry

In relation to the film industry licences will be provided by the following bodies for the following uses:

  • Filmbank, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation may be able to license a non-theatrical showing of a film in public in such places as clubs, coaches, restaurants, village halls and schools
  • ComPact Collections may be able to help license cable retransmission rights on behalf of producers

  • Video Performance Limited licenses certain uses of music videos

  • In all other cases it may be necessary to contact either the producers or the UK distributors to gain appropriate licensing for films.

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For more information on:

  • Copyright Licensing
  • What is meant by a Copyright Licence?
  • Collective Licensing  
  • Blanket Licensing  
  • Licensing Schemes
  • Copyright Tribunal
  • Does my Company need a copyright Licence?