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Collective Licensing

Distribution of licensing revenues

A short guide to how we distribute collective licensing money

PLS distributes collective licencing revenue every month. The sources of the money we pay vary from month to month but repeat on an annual basis, so that publishers know when to expect their income.

Money received from NLA media access is paid every month.

Money from our PLSclear service is paid quarterly, in March, June, September and December.

Money from the Copyright Licensing Agency’s various licences is paid throughout the year as follows:

  • January: UK document delivery, media monitoring organisations and overseas
  • February: Further Education, Central Government and overseas
  • March: Business and overseas
  • April: Local authorities
  • May: No distribution
  • June: Schools and overseas
  • July: UK document delivery, media monitoring organisations and overseas
  • August: NHS
  • September: Local authorities and overseas
  • October: Business and Christian Copyright Licensing International
  • November: Schools and overseas
  • December: Higher Education


You can read more about how our payments work in our Distribution Charter. This provides full and transparent details of how licensing revenues are distributed, including:

  • The sources of our income
  • How revenues from different formats are shared between rights holders
  • The deductions that are made from licensing revenues
  • How we allocate revenue to publishers
  • The exclusions that apply.

Unclaimed revenue

While we are able to allocate nearly 99% of all collective licensing revenue, in some cases, despite our best efforts, we are unable to identify or locate the rights holders of titles that have been allocated a share of licensing revenue. In these cases, the revenue is held in trust.

If you think you may be due some of this money, we would be pleased to hear from you. Our look-up service allows you to enter ISBN or ISSN numbers of titles that may have received allocations, and check them against our database. If the service shows that unpaid revenues have been allocated to these numbers, you can claim them by registering to PLS. Please get in touch if you need any help with claiming money held in trust.

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