Sunday 24 April 2011

CLA launches Multinational Licence

Our friend and colleague Rebecca Dimaridis (Jeffrey Russell Green solicitors), who is making something of a name for herself in this area, writes:
Readers may recall my 2-part report on the 2010 Open Meeting of the Copyright Licensing Agency, see here and here, last October. On Friday, the CLA launched its Multinational Licence. Readers can find more details on the CLA website - but don't be fooled into thinking this is the only information about the licence on the website. Just click on the links available and you will travel down a different path of the website, and there is a fair bit of information - too much to get through on Easter Saturday, so I'm only going to give a brief report at this stage! Perhaps the good folk at the CLA will put all the information in PDF documents on the website at some stage, so we don't all have to worry about whether we've forgotten to click on some vitally important link. Or perhaps I'm just going to have to print off all the pages after the (extended-thanks to William & Kate) break... The Licence's big claim is that, other than for the "Excluded Categories and Works", one single Multinational Licence gives the same rights "to every colleague, in any country, without disrupting the workflow of your organisation". Excluded Categories and Works include music, maps and newspapers. There are several categories of licences, broadly for the business sector, public sector and education sector. A "law licence" application can be found under the "business" sector. The relevant page informs us that the terms of the licence are currently being revised, however the current terms apply to pre-15 January 2011 licences (what does this mean for licences between 15 January to the date the new terms are finalised?).
 For licences issued post-April 2011, there is a host of Multinational Licence support material, including an Application Form, an Explanatory Leaflet and Copying Guidelines. One thing that I found confirmed on the Copying Guidelines is a note that states that users can copy up to 5% of a publication, a single chapter of a book or single article from a periodical (whichever is the greater). Users can even undertake a Risk Assessment on this page. When I do review the documents in detail, I will be keeping in mind the the wish-list that Philip Ditchfield of Glaxo SmithKline PLC put forward last October, i.e. is the new Multinational Licence, easy to understand, user-friendly, up-to-date, comprehensive, and inclusive of all publishers (big and small) and all countries?
 For the time being however, there is finally a breeze coming through our flat, and for the first time I can remember in my almost-4 years (on the 25th!) in the UK there is a lightning storm going on outside. I really miss them so I'm off to watch!


Guy said...

The great thing about the CLA is that at exhibitions they give away the strongest canvas shopping bags of any stall; visit them at the On-Line show. Their stand is small but their free bags are excellent.

Anonymous said...

This is most certainly not the panacea that it seems. Staff not in the UK cannot copy and distribute works not published in the UK or USA (see page 2 of Explanatory notes document); not all countries allow all activity, eg: it seems that German publications can only be copied but not scanned or sourced from digital (see excluded works: international listing); you have to own the original in order to be able to provide a copy; there is a 30-day life span of provision if the copy is provided electronically via your intranet and so on and so on. Much of this will require investment in monitoring and place additional pressures on your licence coordinator.
Graham Titley

Lois Bray said...


I’m from The Copyright Licensing Agency.

The key benefit of the Multinational Licence is that one singular licence can replace a number of different licences in a number of different territories and, further, enable the different territories to share information in a way they could not previously.

We accept there are limitations to the Multinational Licence but we believe it’s an exciting first step towards a common cross-border licensing system. We are always looking to improve our licences and seeking additional permissions, wherever possible.

Are there any particular territories that you would find particularly useful, if included?

Many thanks for your comments.


P.S. Guy, we’re pleased you like our canvas bags!