Code of Conduct

Our governance

PLS is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. It is owned and controlled by trade associations representing the interests of publishers. The following trade associations are its current members:

  • Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP);
  • the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG);
  • Professional Publishers Association (PPA); and
  • Publishers Association (PA).


Each trade association appoints up to three directors to the PLS Board. The Chairman and the Chief Executive of PLS are also directors. The Chief Executive remains a director for the duration of his/her term of office. The Chairman is appointed for three years and is eligible for re-election for a further term of three years. Each member may appoint a director to represent that member for such term as they shall decide. All remaining directors must retire on the fourth anniversary of their appointment and may be re-appointed for one further term of four years. Any publisher wishing to be considered for appointment to the PLS Board should apply to one of the named trade associations.

PLS’s primary licensing agent, CLA, is jointly owned by PLS and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) in equal shares. PLS and ALCS each have the right to appoint up to three directors to the CLA Board. The Chairman and the
Managing Director of CLA are also directors of CLA. A further director of CLA is appointed to represent rightholders whose works are licensed under extended collective licensing.

PLS also appoints NLA, a limited liability company owned by the eight national newspaper publishing groups, as a licensing agent. PLS is entitled to nominate a representative of magazine publishers onto the NLA Board.

More information about how PLS is constituted and governed, how publishers can participate in decisionmaking processes, and how and when PLS consults with publishers about changes to its licensing schemes can be found in the PLS Articles of Association and the PLS General Terms and Conditions (see Further information and reading).

Publishers’ rights and obligations

  • Publishers may exclude certain titles, rights, licences and/or territories from their grant of rights to PLS using the settings in their online Publisher Account in PLSe.
  • Publishers are entitled to attend consultation meetings and participate in our consultations online through the website regarding licence developments.
  • Publishers are required to assist PLS in maintaining an accurate and comprehensive database by keeping the title data in their Publisher Accounts accurate and up to date at all times.
  • Publishers should update their Publisher Account promptly with any changes in their contact details, their main PLSe contact or any personnel listed in PLSe.
  • Publishers can nominate as many people within their company as they wish to receive the PLS eBulletin and to have access to their Publisher Account. Any individual wishing to cease receiving the PLS eBulletin can advise PLS by contacting us at pls@pls.org.uk


Our employees
We will ensure that our employee training procedures include training on conduct that enables them to comply with the obligations set out in this Code of Conduct.

Our commitment to publishers

  • We will treat all publishers fairly, honestly, reasonably, impartially, courteously, transparently, and in accordance with the rules of our constitution.
  • We will operate within the mandate granted to us by publishers and in the best interests of the publishers signed up with us.
  • We will distribute licensing revenue to publishers in accordance with our  Distribution Charter.
  • We will take all necessary measures to identify and contact any publisher who has not signed up with us but for whom we receive licensing revenue.
  • We will provide publishers with online access to their Publisher Accounts in PLSe as far as possible on a 24/7 basis.
  • We will treat all data relating to publishers with due care and respect in accordance with all applicable laws and codes of conduct and in accordance with our data protection and privacy policies (which can be found on the PLS website).
  • We will respond courteously to publishers within our stated response timescales (see Contacting PLS).
  • We will publish an Annual Review which will, in respect of the applicable reporting period, include details of the number of publishers we represented; our distribution policy; the total licensing revenue received by us from collective licensing; our administration costs; the allocation and distribution of licensing revenue received by us and the extent to which this complied with our Distribution Charter; procedures for the appointment of directors to PLS and any appointments made; the remuneration of each PLS director; such further information as we may be required from time to time by law to provide; and our compliance with the requirements of this Code of Conduct including data on the total number of complaints and how they have been dealt with.