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.

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.