Frequently Asked Questions

What is Publishers' Licensing Services (PLS)?

PLS is a not-for-profit organisation established by the UK publishing industry to provide collective licensing and rights management services.

What does PLS do?

Our primary remit is to oversee collective licensing in the UK for book, journal, magazine and website copying.

Distributable revenue was £38.5 million from collective licensing in 2020/21, and have more than 4,000 publishers signed up with us.

Together with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, we own and direct the Copyright Licensing Agency. We also work in partnership with NLA media access.

Who do we collect money for?

We are primarily set up to distribute collective licensing revenues to publishers.

However, if we have evidence that material belonging to other relevant rightsholders is being copied – for example, if you own a website or online publication but you might not necessarily see yourself as a “publisher” - then we would still get in contact to distribute the revenues allocated to such copying.

Why should I sign up with PLS?

1. Receive fair payment for copying.
2. Join 4,000+ publishers signed up with PLS.
3. Save having to deal with multiple requests for secondary copying.
4. Strengthen and promote copyright awareness.

Is there a cost to signing up with PLS?

There is no fee attached to signing up with PLS. We cover our operational costs by deducting an administration fee of 6% at the point of distributing licensing revenue.

How long does the sign-up process take?

Once we receive your signed Account Form, our processing team will set up your Account form within 4-8 weeks. If there are any queries in the meantime, we will be in touch.

How do I sign up with PLS?

It is quick and easy to sign up with PLS. Simply:

1. Complete the Account Form to sign up. Make sure you read ‘A Guide to Your PLS Account’ which outlines the terms and conditions of signing the Account Form
2. Confirm ownership of your title lists

If you require a paper copy of the Account form, please request one here.

That’s all – we will then set up your account for you and you will be eligible to receive payments when your titles are copied.

How much revenue is held in trust for my titles?

We can confirm the exact amount once we have received written confirmation of ownership of your titles.

When will I get paid?

We distribute licensing revenues on a monthly basis, dependent on the licensed sector. See the distribution timetable for more information.

What is collective licensing?

Collective licensing offers a simple and cost effective solution for those who wish to copy from published materials without breaking the law, and also for rightsholders where direct licensing is inefficient and not cost effective. Read more.

How does collective licensing work?

Blanket licences are issued to users in the education, public and business sectors which allow them to copy extracts from a broad range of titles in return for a licence fee, so providing convenience and excellent value for money.

Data showing what titles are being copied under the licences is collected largely through sample surveys and reporting by licensees. The resulting data informs the distribution of the blanket licence fees to publishers, authors and visual artists.

The publisher’s share of the licence fees is paid by PLS to the publishers whose publications have been shown to have been copied.

Read more.

Why have my titles been copied?

Titles may be identified as having been copied whether they have been opted in to collective licensing or not. The licensed organisations – such as schools, the NHS and local government – keep a record of all material that they copy, so if your title has been picked up, you may be due some revenue.

What other services does PLS provide?

PLS offers a range of rights management services. These include: