Copyright Licensing Agency

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Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA)
Industry Publishing
Founded 1983
Headquarters Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby Street, London
Number of employees

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) is a UK non-profit organisation[1] established in 1983 by the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and the Publishers' Licensing Society (PLS) to perform collective licensing on their behalf.[2] The Copyright Licensing Agency is based in Saffron House in Farringdon, London with additional offices in Edinburgh, Scotland.


The aim of the CLA is to obtain fair rewards for authors, visual artists and publishers for the copying of their work. CLA is a non-profit organisation and money collected in licence fees is distributed to the copyright owners after company costs have been deducted. In the financial year 2009/2010 CLA distributed £51.4m to authors, visual artists and publishers.[3]


As well as UK publications, CLA have agreements with reproduction rights organisations (RROs) that allow employees to copy works published in over 30 other countries. CLA also work with the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) towards the development of international codes of conduct.

The Hargreaves Report (2011)[edit]

In March 2011, CLA released a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers into the economic impact of copyright in the UK. The report showed that £4.3 billion is estimated to have been invested in new content in the UK in 2007, of which £1.6 billion was invested in art and literature.[4] The report was used to inform an independent review into intellectual property and growth, with particular reference to the digital economy. This review was commissioned by the government and led by Professor Ian Hargreaves.[5]

Copyright Law[edit]

CLA is a licensing body as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


CLA established its compliance arm, Copywatch in 1996.[6] Copywatch was established in 1996 by The Copyright Licensing Agency to counter illegal copying of books, magazines and journals in the business and local authority areas. The company is also a member of the Alliance Against IP Theft and the Trading Standards Institute.[7]

What can I do with this content?[edit]

At Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2011, CLA launched a new industry-standard digital copyright icon[8] which displays publishers' key terms of use on their websites. Entitled, 'What can I do with this content?', the tool aims to benefit publishers by communicating their copyright policy; providing an industry-standard format for displaying copyright terms on the internet and generating revenue for those publishers signed up to the UK collective licensing scheme.[9]


External links[edit]