UK Revenue Direct

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions Answered

How the scheme works

Universities in the UK copy and use a broad range of published materials, particularly in their course packs. Such use is regularised under the Higher Education (HE) license issued to each university by Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA)(1). CLA is authorized to license such usage by rights holders – publishers via PLS, authors via the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), visual artists via Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and Picture Industry Collecting Society for Effective Licensing (PICSEL), and overseas rights holders via collective management organizations representing them. These include Copyright Clearance Center in the US (CCC).

The HE license is a ‘blanket license’. It permits copying of limited extracts (one article or one chapter or up to 10%, whichever is the greater) of titles covered by the license in return for a blanket license fee calculated according to the number of students at the university in each academic year. It  requires the university to provide CLA with full data on what extracts they use in their course packs. Data on other usage is collected on a sample basis.The license fee is allocated to those publishers, authors and visual artists whose materials are shown in the data to have been copied and according to the volume of copies of each title.

Rights holders have the option to exclude any number of their titles from the CLA license. However, no part of the blanket license fee will be allocated to excluded titles, as universities may copy up to 5% of excluded titles under an exception to copyright.(2). Copying over and above the exception amounts to an infringement of copyright and the rights holder can seek to enforce their rights accordingly.

By signing up with PLS you authorise the inclusion of your titles in the CLA HE license. We distribute any licensing revenue to publishers for the copying of their titles. Publishers don’t need to worry about paying any share of such revenue to authors or visual artists – as CLA has already paid on their allocation to ALCS, DACS and PICSEL appropriately in accordance with the shares determined in the independent rights valuation.(3)

1 As contemplated in section 136(6) of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
2 See section 136(1) to (5) of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
3 “Determination of revenue shares from licensing undertaken by CLA and NLA.” Report of Mark Bezant (FTI Consulting) 21 December 2015

What revenue will I receive when I sign up to UKRD?

You will be entitled to any revenue that we may be currently holding in trust for your titles. You will then receive revenue allocated for the copying of your titles on an ongoing basis.

When will I get paid?

Publishers with non-UK bank accounts are currently paid in February and August.

Can I sign up to the scheme even if I don’t own all the rights?

Under PLS’ General Terms and Conditions each publisher grants rights (whether print, digital or both) only to the extent that they own or control such rights. The operative provision is clause 3.2:

“If there are now or in the future any rights or material contained within the Repertoire that the Publisher cannot for any reason license under the terms of the Publisher Account, or not to the full extent of the Publisher Account (Contributor’s IP), then such Contributor’s IP is to that extent excluded from the grant of rights.”

Furthermore, a publisher who may be unsure of their rights position in a particular title can opt to exclude that title.

What if the rights in my titles have reverted to the author?

Under UKRD you may recieve a share of revenue even for titles where rights have reverted. This is balanced by the fact that authors may receive a share of revenue under this program even where the publisher may own all the rights.

I have not yet signed up – why might you be holding revenue for my titles?

CLA tracks the use of titles under their licenses by conducting surveys. Sometimes the surveys show that titles not included in a license have nevertheless been copied. In such cases we will track down the publisher and invite them to sign up with PLS. In the meantime we will hold the revenue for that usage in trust for the relevant publisher.

Do I get paid every time one of my titles is copied?

No. The CLA license is a 'blanket license' and is not a transactional license where a fee is paid for each copy made.

Is UKRD risk free?

The organizations participating in UKRD each indemnify CLA and its licensees against any claim by rights holders. If a claim alleging infringement of copyright or non-payment of revenue in relation to a CLA license is made, then PLS, ALCS, DACS or PICSEL will, as appropriate, be responsible for meeting that claim. Publishers are not at risk and not required to indemnify PLS.

How does payment to authors work?

US-resident authors entitled to licensing revenue from the United Kingdom are identified by ALCS.

Twice yearly, ALCS sends payments and accompanying distribution data to its members. Payments are either made directly (if authors have chosen to join ALCS) or via the Authors Registry, the distribution agency of the US Authors Guild. The Authors Registry then distributes payments to authors in accordance with ALCS’ distribution rules. These payments may also include money collected  by ALCS from other collective licensing schemes, such as statutory compensation from European library lending schemes.

Why do I need to sign up to PLS?

Under the UK copyright education exception up to 5% of a work can be copied for free if it is not covered by a collective licensing program. Signing up for UKRD will ensure that your titles are included in CLA licenses – so that any monies collected for the use of your titles are paid to you for the copying of your titles.

How do I sign up for free?

Complete our Account Form for US publishers

What do I need to give you when I sign up?

You will be asked for a list of your titles. Under UK collective licensing publishers receive a share of licensing revenue for their titles irrespective of whether rights have reverted.

How does CLA allocate revenue?

CLA revenues are allocated between organizations representing publishers, authors and visual artists (as detailed here) in accordance with shares determined in the rights valuation(3). Revenues are then distributed by the relevant organizations according to their own distribution processes. Whether you choose to pass those revenue to your authors is a matter for you to decide but under the terms of your PLS agreement this is your designated share as publisher of the titles in question, and your authors are entitled to receive their share as outlined above.

Sign up

What do I need to do to sign up?

Complete our Account Form for US publishers