Educational licences in Europe – the facts

IFRRO is concerned that Communia’s recent report on Educational Licences in Europe provides only a limited analysis from which they have drawn conclusions about the collective licensing of education, particularly schools across Europe. IFRRO therefore felt it necessary to prepare a report to address a number of errors and mistakes of fact, which invalidate the conclusions drawn in the report. The IFRRO response underlines that:

• There are effective collective licensing systems in 26 of the 28 EU Member States, and in the remaining two Member States efforts are being made to develop licensing solutions

• These licences operate, as Communia itself acknowledges (page 82), to lead to licensing offers covering uses that are not foreseen in copyright exceptions which have benefits for teachers and students

• The licences are the outcomes of negotiations, generally between the licensor (CMO) and either a peak industry body or a government agency with significant bargaining power

• If a licensee is unhappy with the licence terms negotiated, there is generally recourse not only to a court or specific administrative Tribunal (such as the Copyright Tribunal In the UK) but to alternative dispute resolution

• The fees collected under collective licences are distributed to authors and publishers, contributing to an ecosystem that supports and promotes a national reading culture and contributes to cultural diversity.